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BL1C t 



What Makes a College? 








What Makes a College? 



Cornelia Meigs 


Published simultaneously in Canada 

All rights reserved no part of this book may 
be reproduced in any form without permis- 
sion in writing from the publisher, except 
by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief 
passages in connection with a review written 
for inclusion in magazine or newspaper. 

Printed in the United States of America 


Library of Congress catalog card number: 56-7323 


great and beloved 
Trustee of Bryn Ma*wr College 

from z$oj, 
President of her Trustees 


Chairman of her Board of Directors 
1936 to 1956 


Part One: Joseph Wright Taylor 

and James E. Rhoads i 



in "THE TERM ... Is PERPETUAL" 23 

iv "AN OPENING" 34 


Part TIVO: Martha Carey Thomas 65 






Part Three: Marion Edwards Park 121 







LIVE . . ." 164 

Part Four: Katharine Elizabeth Me Bride 175 



xvi "A WAY WILL BE FOUND" 208 


xvin "ANCIENT OF DAYS" 238 




NOTES 2 6c 




Joseph Wright Taylor, M.D., Founder of Bryn Mawr College facing 86 

James E. Rhoads, M.D., First President of Bryn Mawr 

College, 1885-1894 86 

M. Carey Thomas, Second President of Bryn Mawr 

College, 1894-1922 87 

The first class with the faculty, photographed on the 

steps of Taylor Hall, 1886 118 

Panorama of Campus with Rhoads Hall in foreground 119 

A Class in the Cloisters of the M. Carey Thomas Library, 1953 119 

Cornelia Otis Skinner as Queen Elizabeth on May Day, 1932 150 

May Day at Bryn Mawr College, 1944 150 

Class songs on May Day, 1951 151 

A group of student carolers 151 

Marion Edwards Park, Third President of Bryn Mawr 

College, 1922-1942 182 

Katharine Elizabeth McBride, Fourth President of Bryn 

Mawr College, 1942- 182 

Charles J. Rhoads, Trustee of the College from 1907, 
President of the Trustees and Chairman of the 
Board of Directors from 1936 to 1956 183 


Joseph Wright Taylor 



James E. Rhoads 

PRESIDENT 1884-1894 

Chapter I 


In the last third of the nineteenth century, great matters were stir- 
ring in the world of education. Fifty years from Napoleon in the 
past, fifty years from Hitler in the future, found the English- 
speaking peoples widening their scope in the advance of thought 
and applied knowledge. Charles Darwin, and the bitter controversy 
he had aroused, had forced men to think for themselves more than 
they ever had before, and to decide who and what they were. In the 
face of rising industrialism there had grown up slowly a social con- 
sciousness and a sense that vast economic changes took place by in- 
evitable law and not by chance. Archaeological discoveries and the 
translation of ancient documents had brought a thinking public face 
to face with the far past; stirring national events gave men a sense 
of the historic importance of the present. The two countries on op- 
posite sides of the Atlantic were sometimes friends and sometimes 
less than that, but they had reached the point of sharing freely In 
each other's knowledge. 

In America that stretch of time which in England had been so 
secure from outside pressure had been harshly broken by the soul- 
searching experience of civil war. It had been necessary to examine 
and clarify the truths concerning social justice, of political and eco- 
nomic equilibrium when a deeply stirred country faced the possi- 
bility of the destruction of the Union. And at such a time American 
enterprise and inventiveness had come steadily forward along the 
roads of scientific advance, stimulated thereto by the needs and the 
rich resources of a growing country. 

All of this is the merest mention of that myriad of new ideas 


and new attainments which came knocking at the doors of those in- 
stitutions of learning behind which the study of the classics and of 
the ancient philosophies still stood so strongly entrenched. It was not 
easy to give up allegiance to the old subjects of gentlemanly study, 
to forswear faithfulness to a method of teaching prescribed and un- 
varied for generations. Among the older and privately endowed col- 
leges, resistance tended to be forbiddingly strong. The growing 
number of state universities with no previous experience and with 
responsibility to a wide public were visibly waiting for leadership. 
The question of higher education for women was, in particular, be- 
ing debated with vigor and often with acrimony. Did women have a 
right to demand entrance to the educational institutions set up for 
men? That was one query. The second was: Did they, given that 
right, have the capacity to make full use of it? For many people it 
was simple and easy to say no to both counts. 

With all this it would have been easy enough for the whole sys- 
tem of higher education in America to fall into profitless controversy 
and chaotic experiment, losing for decades what we now see to have 
been priceless time. If development was to go forward without vio- 
lent interruption, this was the crucial moment, although no one 
knew it. Only vaguely was it possible to foresee that the long stretch 
of peaceful living, the longest period in modern history free from 
general European wars, was to merge swiftly into the nearly fifty 
years of conflict which even yet is not at an end. There was soon 
to begin a struggle in which the utmost of trained knowledge, of 
scientific discovery and research must be brought to bear as an es- 
sential part of national strength, and when scholarship was to add 
to its former responsibilities strange new duties. 

It has been one of our great national adventures, that achieve- 
ment by which the tough, bristling new was plowed into the smooth- 
worn surface of the old to make a new American education, seed- 
bed of a new intellectual life. Those who brought it about bear 
witness to the power of dedicated and wholehearted labor; they 
toiled with indefatigable spirit, with penetrating vision and, here 
and there, with inspired genius, and they attained their end. The 
whole story of that effort, told in detail, would be a vast document; 
the greatness of the achievement may, perhaps, be more strikingly 
evident in single narratives like the biography of Charles William 


Eliot, young and crusading President of Harvard, or in the scat- 
tered reminiscences of Daniel Coit Gilman of the Johns Hopkins 
University, and in the individual and obscure stories of the hope 
and perseverance of various others. And one finds contained, with 
singular compactness, the sum and substance of that time of prog- 
ress in the records of Bryn Mawr College, founded in the moment of 
full burgeoning of educational change. In the study of the record of 
the different persons who figured largely in her history, out of cas- 
ual recollections, spoken or in letters, out of memoranda and re- 
ports and minutes of meetings, and out of personal experience, one 
sifts the evidence of obstacles stoutly surmounted, of inevitable er- 
rors made and retrieved, of hard-won attainments, typical not of 
one college but of many. It is the account of all those ideas and 
experiences which went forward together in that trenchant time. 

In process of review of all these events and problems, a single 
question inevitably emerges which attaches itself not to one institu- 
tion but to them all. How often do we, as a general public, ask 
ourselves what actually goes into the making of a college or a uni- 
versity? What are the basic factors in its brilliant or competent suc- 
cess, its mediocre achievement or its occasional failure? Opinions 
may vary, but an answer to the question should be sought and 
sought again until a final conclusion is clearly apparent. Such an- 
swer is only to be found by thorough study of the institutions them- 
selves, of their trials and mistakes, of their triumphs which have 
been very great and their vicissitudes which have been very many. 
Some of the great universities, a few of the smaller colleges have 
put down their stories, and in the accounts of both great and small 
lies matter for searching reflection. As one more item to add to the 
accumulating material for study, there is here set forth the record 
of Bryn Mawr, a small college for women, near Philadelphia. It has 
its own adventurous story, founded late in the last century, assum- 
ing at once large responsibilities, passing through numberless dif- 
ficulties, steadily moving into its own place in the full design of 
American education. 

To those for whom Bryn Mawr is a matter of affection and 
personal loyalty, of recollection and intimate experience, the nar- 
rative of her accomplishment has value and interest. But beyond 
that is a larger matter, the question which must be fully faced when 


the account is completed and the evidence is all in. It is urged 
upon all readers who follow such a narrative to seek their own 
opinions, to come to some decision because for the good of our 
future education every thinking person should come to such deci- 
sion as to what made his own college, or Jtier own, and what shall 
make the one which is to oversee our children's setting out on the 
difficult road of life. 

Chapter II 


The difficulties and the progress of the history of a college are dif- 
ficult to recapture because, for the most part, the determining con- 
tributions are human and personal, with the elements of final suc- 
cess rising almost always out of the human factor. Founder, Trustees, 
Presidents, student bodies in their successive generations, scholars 
and gifted teachers, generous donors all these persons, save one, 
shift and disappear in the shortness of human life and in college 
generations. All but one are renewed in other forms and other fig- 
ures as the college seeks out and finds her own. 

Of all these, the founder alone is never duplicated. His is the 
single honor of having had the first vision and of having given it 
life and impetus. His reward is not in a contimial and grateful 
recollection by posterity; of this he neither expects nor receives any 
great amount. It is in the thought that possibly, in the later and 
wider accomplishment which is far beyond his foreseeing, there shall 
be some grain and substance of himself and his idea. 

The first conception of Bryn Mawr College grew up in the 
mind of Joseph Wright Taylor, a Quaker gentleman of unusual 
charm and lovableness, a doctor of medicine, a man of unosten- 
tatiously increasing wealth and of steadily growing human capacity. 
He lived a conventional life, in which that very conventionality was 
a cloak, as it can be an impenetrable cloak, for a quick and almost 
painful response to a sense of duty and for inner thoughts of deep 
and passionate concern. His will, establishing a college for the 
higher education of young women, was a surprise to many, even 
among his friends and associates in the Society of Friends. But its 


making was not the sudden decision of a man growing old and hav- 
ing to determine quickly where those possessions should go which 
he could not take with him. We know now, better than his con- 
temporaries did, that he came to his conclusions slowly and after 
long and earnest consultation with a handful of greatly trusted 
friends. We can picture him as turning over his plans within his 
mind, thinking of them as he splashed along muddy roads on his 
country errands, as adding this detail and that as chance suggestions 
fell in his way, particularly as meditating on them and dedicating 
them to their highest purpose in the living silence of the Quaker 

Into them went the whole of his warm nature, his love of coun- 
try living, his admiration and affection for his able and remark- 
able sister, his interest in young people, though he never married 
and so had no direct descendants of his own. Into them also went 
his careful efficiency in business matters, his deep sense of the hap- 
piness contained in good family life, his quick answer to the stim- 
ulus of intellectual companionship, his slowly growing knowledge 
and interest concerning the whole subject of contemporary educa- 
tion. To these was added a quiet and thoughtful, but none the less 
powerful, spirit of rebellion against a certain imprisoning narrow- 
ness which was the threat and sometimes the pitfall of the very be- 
liefs which he cherished so deeply. His plan, above all, rose out of 
his sincere conviction that Quaker principles and Quaker discipline 
had something to give to all humanity, not in the way of dogma, 
but in the way of shedding light upon life itself. 

Joseph Wright Taylor was born on March i, 1810, in a farm- 
house near Imlaystown, Upper Freehold Township, Monmouth 
County, New Jersey. He came at the end of a large family, having 
five older brothers and one sister. His father, the seventh Edward 
Taylor in a direct line to live in the Quaker settlements of New 
Jersey, was a doctor. Although the elder Dr. Taylor had come into 
the Society of Friends "by conviction and not by birthright," he 
was an earnestly believing member of the Society, while his wife, 
Sarah Merritt Taylor, belonged to the Quakers by long descent as 
well as by her own devotion. 

The Taylor family made an affectionate and happy household, 
deeply united in spite of the fact that they were a group, parents 


and sons and daughter, o strong individualists. The boys admired 
and cherished their only sister, Hannah, a girl of excellent mind 
and vivid character. Descendants of the family say that the fact that 
she never married was due to her having been too much surrounded 
by earnest but proprietary brotherly affection. 

The Society of Friends as a body had long been specially con- 
cerned with certain reforms, the doing away with slavery, the im- 
proving of conditions in prisons, the just treatment of the Indians 
and the care of the insane. In 1813 an institution, the Friends Asy- 
lum, for mental cases was established at Frankford, just north of 
Philadelphia. Sarah Taylor, even while her children were very 
young, felt it her husband's duty and hers to take over the manag- 
ing of this institution. This Edward Taylor refused to do until his 
youngest son, Joseph, was thirteen, old enough to go to boarding 
school and beyond the age of being too deeply affected by the 
shadow of such an environment. The Taylor parents had practical 
views as to their sons' training to maintain themselves in the world; 
the eldest son, Abraham, had been apprenticed as a carpenter; 
James in time set up a school, and Joseph, when he finished his 
course at David Griscom's boarding school, was started at learning 
the apothecary's trade in a drugstore in Philadelphia. This was a 
useful but still incomplete preparation for the larger project upon 
which he entered next as he went on to study medicine. 

He "read," as young lawyers used also to read, in the office of 
a man established in his profession, and when he was seventeen he 
began his two years of study at the Medical School of the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania. This course was interrupted by a severe 
illness, rheumatic fever, followed by heart complications, treated 
with bleeding and blistering as was the practice of the day. The ef- 
fects of this sickness followed him through his whole life. In spite 
of it, however, he continued his medical studies, and by industry 
and intelligence and a little skillful concealment he managed to 
violate the rule that a diploma was not granted to any man who 
was not twenty-one. He succeeded in graduating as a doctor when 
he was barely twenty, and settled into practice at Germantown, not 
far from his own family. But notwithstanding his gaiety of spirit, 
and his ability to make friends, he did not go forward happily. 
Society was conservative, and the young doctor with new methods 


was not so welcome in the old and settled families of Philadelphia 
and its neighborhood as was the old one. Joseph felt that patients 
were unreasonably slow in coming, and he was disappointed and 
impatient. It may have been that with the small amount of formal 
training which he had received, this man of medicine, aged twenty, 
felt himself a trifle insecure. 

Because a meager and limited professional life seemed to him an 
appalling prospect, he determined to seek better things that would 
give a wider view. Ships owned by friends of his family were con- 
stantly clearing from the port of Philadelphia for far voyages, so 
that he found it easy enough to obtain, in this first year of his be- 
ing admitted to practice, a position as ship's surgeon on a vessel 
bound for Calcutta. Instead of being paid a salary, he was entitled 
to cargo space in the ship and he took with him a thousand dollars 
to invest in wares of the East. This he did to such good purpose 
that, on getting home, he found himself in possession of a most 
satisfactory profit. He had widened his life more effectually than he 
had undertaken to do, for he had made excursion into the field of 
business and discovered that it was congenial and that there, per- 
haps, lay his best abilities. Some source of his dissatisfaction, ap- 
parently, lay in his being in the wrong occupation. 

In the iSsjo's the West, with its wide and stirring opportunities, 
was beginning to tempt young men of enterprise. Abraham Taylor, 
his older brother, was the first to feel the impulse to try life on a 
more adventurous scale. He was the most serious member of the 
family, determinedly practical where Joseph was lighter-minded and 
full of vision. Abraham had gone to Cincinnati ten years earlier, 
traveling out in a Conestoga wagon, had set up a tanning business 
and had long put up with an uncongenial but able partner for the 
sake of getting established. By this time he had begun to prosper 
and also to feel a desire for the more agreeable company of his 
younger brothers James and Joseph. James was no more contented 
with his school than Joseph was with his medical practice, to which 
he had returned after the voyage to India. Both eagerly embraced 
Abraham's invitation to come out and join him in business, and 
to Cincinnati they traveled forthwith, by train and canal boat, by 
inclined plane over the mountains, and by river packet down the 
Ohio to arrive in March of 1835. 



It was no part of Abraham's intention to coddle his brothers; 
we find them writing home that James is employed in putting car- 
riages together and Joseph at grinding tanbark. But it soon became 
Joseph's part to travel through Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, buy- 
ing hides to be sent back to the tannery. His cheerfulness, his pleas- 
ant manners and his quick business sense made him a most success- 
ful emissary, so that before long he became a partner in the com- 
pany. The three brothers lived together in a bachelor household 
until presently, when James married, their sister Hannah came West 
to keep house for the remaining two. 

It is a custom of the Quakers, for those who feel they have the 
mission, to make journeys of visitation from Meeting to Meeting, 
from country to country. Philadelphia saw many of such travelers; 
even Cincinnati had its share. Some of the visitors came from Eng- 
land, some from the tiny groups of scattered Friends gathered here 
and there in the even deeper West, from Indiana and Iowa. "There 
were noble men among them," Abraham's son has said of the visi- 
tors from the pioneer communities. For Joseph there was a stimulus 
and a warming of the heart when the educated, the intellectual and 
inspiring Friends from England came their way. That widening of 
life which began for him with the trip to India, which had been ex- 
tended in the crude newness of a growing Western town, was now 
carried further still by these men who represented a school of 
thought older and more mellow than even that of the neighborhood 
of Philadelphia and of Burlington which he still thought of as home. 
He longed to become more closely acquainted with what these Eng- 
lishmen stood for. The guests, on departure, urged him to return 
the visit, to come some day to see England for himself. 

It was not, however, until he had been fifteen years a member 
of the firm of A. Taylor and Company that the long-desired op- 
portunity and the direct occasion arose. He had begun to have se- 
rious trouble with his eyes, so that he was barred almost entirely 
from reading and writing. Consultation with a Philadelphia doc- 
tor brought the advice to try a complete rest and a sea voyage. 
Joseph had prospered enough in the fifteen years to feel that he 
could afford it; he was eager for travel and felt the deeper impulse 
to make one of the journeys of friendship that the Quakers so cher- 
ished. Abraham rather looked askance upon what he thought was 


irresponsible vacationing, but Joseph persevered. In April of 1849 
he boarded the sailing ship which, allowing the best part of a month 
for the voyage, would take him to England in time for the English 
Friends' Yearly Meeting. It was always hard for him to say good- 
bye to his well loved family, yet he was glad indeed to have respite 
from business. 

Joseph Taylor was a devoted member of the Society of Friends 
in the truest and fullest sense of the word, a Quaker to his very 
heart. To understand him, to understand his work and what he has 
achieved, this must be made abundantly clear. His brothers may 
have been as deeply believing, but for Joseph his religious faith was 
the light of his life, the consideration which had first priority in all 
that he thought and did. His friendship with members of his Society 
was combined with his warm natural affection and a sense of spirit- 
ual brotherhood which gave such connection a doubled force and 
constancy. People who knew him have spoken of seeing the tears 
roll down his cheeks from the depth of his feeling as he sat in the 
Meeting. He did not speak, except on rare occasions; he was not one 
of the "recognized ministers/* Very humbly, and with complete 
naturalness, he gave the whole of his mind and spirit to his approach 
to God. Now, as he set forth to England, he carried letters from 
Stephen Grellet, most prominent of American Quakers, introducing 
him to various men of the company of the Friends in England, 
among them William and Josiah Forster and John Hodgkin with 
whom Joseph was to have much to do as later years went by. 

His diary and his letters give a record of overflowing happiness, 
of his pleasure in the beauty of what he saw, in the quaintness and 
the richness of an older history than he had ever conceived of. 
Above all they show his delight in the extending circle of his new 
acquaintance. All his own tastes and turns of personality are re- 
flected in his appreciation of gracious living, of broad, comfortable 
houses, of neat small fields promising abundance, of clean rosy 
children, of fine horses from those in the Queen's stables downward. 
But at this time England and the Continent were on tiptoe in the 
expectation of war, with such trouble brewing between Germany 
and Austria as threatened a conflict which would spread everywhere, 
as the Napoleonic wars had done. In Joseph's letters he laments 
with sincere distress the constant presence of soldiers, the waste and 


unnatural living for men who could be so useful in other walks of 
life. He attended a peace conference in Paris and caught a glimpse 
of how the Emperor Napoleon III was supporting his uneasy 
throne by a great display of magnificence and of the trappings of 
military glory. All the imperial showmanship was the merest folly to 

He returned home just before Christmas; he had been gone 
eight months. Considering that two of these had been taken up by 
the crossings of the Atlantic, the time for travel had not been un- 
duly long. But his brother Abraham considered it a very lengthy 
period to be away from business. Because Abraham had married 
Elizabeth Shoemaker of Philadelphia in the year before Joseph's de- 
parture, there was now due a complete change in household ar- 
rangement. Joseph and Hannah took a house in the country at 
Price's Hill, for Cincinnati was growing and town living had never 
suited either of them. His partnership in the tanning business had 
brought him substantial dividends, which he had allowed to accumu- 
late, and had invested them with a rather rare and careful sagacity. 
He had achieved, therefore, a comfortable competence and began 
to feel that perhaps he could allow himself a certain relief from the 
pressure of day-to-day activities in the counting-house. He had 
worked faithfully and intelligently at his share of the company's 
business, but it was true that things of the mind and spirit inter- 
ested him far more. 

His brother Abraham, observing all these facts and strong in 
the knowledge that, as head of the firm, he was a man whose word 
was law, suggested firmly that Joseph resign. It was a wise idea, as 
well as an authoritative one, and Joseph embraced it willingly. He 
still spent part of every morning at his office, and the rest of the 
time went about those varied duties and errands of country living 
which can take, pleasantly, so very much time. By the end of a year 
it occurred to Joseph and Hannah that there was really no urgent 
reason for their remaining longer in Cincinnati and that they might 
return to the neighborhood of Philadelphia. After a good deal of 
careful consideration, he decided to settle at Burlington, New 

It is to be remembered that Burlington was the first Quaker 
settlement in America in which William Penn had interest, and that 


its success gave encouragement for the later founding of Philadel- 
phia. The Burlington Meeting was an important one. Stephen Grel- 
let and other distinguished Friends lived nearby, as well as families 
that had been associated with Joseph's parents and with his child- 
hood. Two of his brothers already lived not far away. Joseph 
bought a place called Woodlands, two miles out of the town, and 
there he and Hannah settled very happily. In time Abraham retired 
and built a house close to them, as did James later. Abraham's son, 
Charles Shoemaker Taylor, who was devoted to his Uncle Joseph, 
later established himself on a farm close at hand. "The Hill," as 
their little neighborhood came to be called, was now a Taylor 
stronghold. Thus twenty years passed over them all. 

To Quakers family life is one of the foremost factors in any 
scheme of living. Because at that time Friends denied themselves 
even more of "the world's pleasures" than they do now, and because 
they took no part in theater-going, dancing, card-playing or even 
reading novels, there had to be some outlet for sociable impulses, 
good spirits and pleasure in warmhearted companionship. First Day 
was the great occasion for family dinners and family visiting. There 
was always good talk wherein opinions could sharpen themselves on 
opposite opinions; there were independence of ideas and commu- 
nity of interest; there was constructive argument, all part of a prof- 
itable mental give-and-take within a household and within a clan. 
The Taylor houses became famous among neighbors and friends; 
there could always be found good company and lively minds; there 
were entertained the prominent visitors from abroad. What was 
most important of all, there were discussed and developed the basic 
ideas and enterprises of Quaker thinking. 

For every person of Joseph Taylor's generation, just as it has 
been true for every adult of our own mid-century period, there had 
been certain years of life altered or distressed or blighted by the 
inescapable contact of war. But now it could be hoped that a new 
generation was arising that would have no memory, even, of march- 
ing men, of newspapers shouting tidings of battles, of houses in- 
vaded by the single messages of personal disaster. For these young 
people it seemed possible to hope that they could round out their 
lives in peace and security, that the world would be wide for them 
and that they would have opportunity for adventures of the mind 



and spirit which could alter history as fully as ever did trampling 
armies or rumbling cannon. They should have the most that could 
be given them, to make up for what the earlier generations had lost. 
And first of all they should have education, have it freely and of 
the very best. Such was the feeling everywhere, with education un- 
der sharp and constructive scrutiny. In the midst of the rising tide 
of interest and questions, the Society of Friends had their own spe- 
cial concern and their own peculiar problems. 

Earlier in the century the Quakers, in discussion both in Amer- 
ica and in England, were arriving at a disquieting conclusion con- 
cerning themselves. Although they had preserved fully the integrity 
of their faith and their faithfulness to their discipline, the Society, 
surprisingly and undeniably, was growing smaller in numbers. The 
practice of expelling members who "married out of the Meeting" 
was proving itself most costly. Their own educational institutions 
were limited in number and old-fashioned in methods. Their young 
people were seeking education elsewhere and came under influences 
of such different quality and teaching of such different content that 
they often ended by never returning to their birthright beliefs. And 
deeper still was the knowledge that a small society, concentrating 
on depth of ideas and principles, ran grave risk of engendering 
narrowness of thought. 

The real shock was administered by the advent of the Hicksite 
schism in 1827, occurring in Philadelphia and later spreading to 
other American Meetings, the first separation which had ever come 
about in the Society of Friends. "A pretty pass we Christians have 
come to," Joseph Taylor's father had observed when it became plain 
that the breach was not to be healed. It had been a Quaker tenet 
that harmony in any association could always be found, not by tak- 
ing count of conflicting votes, but by bringing to bear the power of 
untiring good sense and reasoning and by a thorough survey of all 
possible points of agreement. Members discussing everywhere the 
cure of all these disquieting conditions began more and more to 
turn their minds to an examination of the lacks and opportunities 
of their system of educating their young people. A series of articles 
in the Quaker journal, The Friend, appearing early in 1830 and 
signed "Ascham," brought the whole challenging question into sud- 
den focus. 


"We have not kept pace with the forward progress of knowl- 
edge," the author (never identified) declared boldly. "We have al- 
lowed ourselves to be so much a peculiar people. . . . The result," 
he explained, was that "our young members do not fully under- 
stand our principles, our school system is not systematic or complete, 
we ourselves are deeply critical of it." 

The five articles, each of only a page in length, had curiously 
awakening power. The first visible result of the movement which 
followed was the establishing of Haverford College, in 1833, 
founded by a group of hopeful and loyal members of the Orthodox 
group of Friends. Its students were to be drawn for the most part 
from among Quaker families, and were to follow the most rigid 
specifications of conduct. The College had its severe trials, coura- 
geously surmounted; in 1845 it was even obliged to close tempo- 
rarily for lack of funds, but the undertaking was far from being 
abandoned. With a Board of Managers who had acquired hard ex- 
perience, with plans more thoroughly matured, it opened its doors 
again in 1848. Six years later, and three after Joseph Taylor had 
moved to Burlington and assumed his place in the Quaker com- 
munity, he became a member of the Haverford Board of Managers 
in 1854, and served in his place there for the remainder of his life. 

They were fertile years which were to have far-scattered fruits 
for later generations. Dr. Taylor worked steadily and conscien- 
tiously, saying little, carrying out to the last letter of faithfulness 
his responsibilities on the policy-making Board and its committees. 
He came into constant association and formed warm friendships 
with a group of quite extraordinary men. Study of his duties, of 
immediate educational need within his own circle of Friends, of the 
dramatic unfolding of the intellectual possibilities of his time, all 
led his thoughts in a certain direction. That infinite kindliness which 
is so visible on his face in his surviving portraits, that invincible 
sense of justice, less easy for a casual glance to read, were both 
working to turn his thoughts into final intention. 

"The advantages of a college education which are so freely of- 
fered to young men," as he spoke of them later, were plainly being 
withheld from young women. It was time for someone, for some 
wiser and generous hand to repair the error. 

Dr. Taylor could see, where others were strangely blind, that 



the education of women within the Quaker sect was a matter of 
great importance. The general idea of making more efficient wives 
and mothers was far from being all of the purpose which was shap- 
ing in his mind. With it was a real concern for women's whole op- 
portunity in the scheme of Quaker living. Family life, as has been 
said, was one of its great factors. The women must be sensible and 
able, but besides they must be capable of stimulating and interest- 
ing intellectual companionship; they should be equal to taking part 
in the thought and discussion of the vital things with which Friends 
were constantly occupied. Some, like his sister Hannah, like the 
interesting and gifted woman who was the wife of his Baltimore 
friend James Carey Thomas, could hold their own from pure native 
ability; but, among many, minds could well be quickened by an 
opportunity of mental training. Among the Quakers it was a point 
of special pride that women had always been given freely the right 
of leadership, of being "recognized as ministers." Where was the 
preparation for opportunity of such importance? 

Moreover, if education in general were to be advanced as fully 
as was needed, if the primary and secondary schools were to grow 
to their proper stature, Dr. Taylor saw clearly that the teachers 
must come from among the women of the country, rather than the 
ranks of men, thinned now by the Civil War and by widening com- 
mercial opportunities as the country's prosperity got once more into 
running order. Once again a few could teach by native gifts, but 
most must have expert instruction. And at the very base of his 
whole intent was the desire to broaden life for others, as his own 
had been broadened through chance circumstances and his own 
capabilities. He went forward slowly with his deep consideration, 
his plans, his final determination. Early in 1876 he had already be- 
gun to discuss it tentatively with his friend and associate on the 
Haverford Board, Francis T. King. 

Momentous things were beginning to come to pass in the wider 
educational world with which he was now in close communication. 
The Hicksite Quakers had founded their own college, Swarthmore, 
in 1864. Cornell University had opened in 1868, designed by the 
hopeful founder as a place "where any person might find instruction 
in any study." This generous plan was scarcely possible of fulfill- 
ment, but the concept of an institution which would offer an in> 


mensely wider field of learning was a bold one. The matter of 
women's education was more than ever a subject of anxious con- 
sideration in many quarters. Vassar was eleven years old, Wellesley 
and Smith only one; Mount Holyoke was still a seminary. Four 
years before, Cornell, having received a gift for that special pur- 
pose, made room for women. The Western universities were begin- 
ning to receive women, but their attendance was still sparse. 

Among the men's colleges, changes were at last under way. 
Harvard, in 1869, had taken the bold step of electing a layman to 
be its head, when the strong tradition for ministerial presidents was 
still prevalent. And this was a very young man for the office, Charles 
William Eliot, aged thirty-five. His reforms and changes were the 
talk of the educational world, the inspiration of some, the despair 
of others. A newly enlarged curriculum, a complete freedom of elec- 
tion of courses, a building up of the professional schools, Medical, 
Divinity, and Scientific, which gave Harvard the true right to call 
itself a university, all these had come forward during those years 
that Joseph Taylor sat in his place of responsibility on Haverford's 
Board of Managers. But most striking of all, and most far-reaching 
in its results, was the opening, in 1876, of the Johns Hopkins Uni- 

The undertaking had been set on foot by the bequest of the 
founder, also a member of the Society of Friends, with what was 
then considered to be the stupendous sum of three and a half mil- 
lion. What was more, the gift had practically no stipulations or 
limitations attached to it, save that a university was to be estab- 
lished and, later, to be affiliated, through a Medical School, with a 
great hospital for which an additional three and a half million were 
provided. The Trustees whom Johns Hopkins appointed before his 
death were men whom he knew well and in whom he had such con- 
fidence that he left in their hands full authority to follow whatever 
way seemed best. These Trustees offered almost as free a hand to 
the President of their choice, Daniel Coit Gilman, and gave full 
agreement to the plan which he proposed. 

This was the establishing of a university in the truest sense of 
the word, devoted primarily to graduate study and research, with a 
Faculty chosen from the very top rank of scholars and to be drawn 
from any available quarter of the scholarly world. In short, the new 



university was to be devoted fully to the advancement of learning, 
not merely to the passing on to a younger generation the sum of 
learning already accumulated. 

Other institutions and, within them, individual workers were 
pushing on as best they could toward this expansion of human 
knowledge, but this public avowal of purpose and the dedication 
of the great resources of a powerful foundation had, and continues 
to have, a telling effect, direct and indirect, which runs through the 
whole fabric of subsequent American history. Nor is it merely in- 
tellectual history which offers the record; it is the whole aspect of 
living which shows the effect of this stimulus to further research and 
further exploration of the fields of learning. The immense expan- 
sion of human knowledge of which the twentieth century has seen 
only its first fifty years, the discoveries in medicine, the extension 
and development of individual sciences, the new fields of explora- 
tion in archaeology, the new methods and revelations in the study 
of literary history, the establishment of further departments and op- 
portunities for research in which American colleges had been lack- 
ing, the setting up of further great foundations all this began to 
come pouring out as the doors opened at that moment in response 
to the understanding that here was a great and waiting chance. 
What is vital in this particular study is the fact that the same men 
who sat on die Board of Trustees named by Johns Hopkins, in par- 
ticular Francis T. King and James Carey Thomas, were colleagues 
and close associates of Dr. Taylor at Haverford. 

By February of 1877, Joseph Taylor had made his will, pre- 
senting in rough outline the plan of the College which he hoped to 
establish. At the end of that year he attended an educational con- 
ference in Baltimore, called by Francis T. King and James Carey 
Thomas, which was for discussion of the responsibility of the So- 
ciety of Friends in the whole subject of education, to ask themselves 
whether, as the unknown Ascham in the Friend had asked almost 
fifty years ago, "'Have we kept pace with the progress of the age?" 
Just how fully they had arrived at the needs of the age can be 
guessed by the fact that the matter of women's education was never 
mentioned. Daniel Gilman made an address on the real functions 
of colleges and universities. Joseph Taylor was present, but it is 
not recorded that he took any part in the discussion. His chosen 


subject was one at which the conference never arrived. But he car- 
ried home much food for thought, and returned to Baltimore more 
than once in the next year to consult with Gilman, to go home with 
James Carey Thomas to the comfortable hospitality of their delight- 
ful household, where he felt at ease and could talk freely of what so 
occupied his mind. 

On one of these visits he found the eldest daughter, Martha 
Carey, at home for the Christmas vacation of her senior year at Cor- 
nell. She was to take her A.B. there in June and was already in- 
troducing her rather reluctant father to the idea of her going to 
Germany for graduate study. No American college could offer such 
a thing to a woman. Joseph Taylor discussed with her the idea that 
women students should not be taught exclusively by men, and that 
posts of importance in academic life should be open to women 
scholars who had won distinction. Carey Thomas, who, at Cornell, 
had seen no feminine employees of the university other than char- 
women, declared that she did not believe women would be allowed 
to teach anywhere except within women's colleges, not even at co- 
educational universities. Her answer gave Dr. Taylor even more 
food for thought as he returned home. 

All these problems were inspiring and stimulating, but they 
gave rise also to great anxieties. From the very depth of his earnest- 
ness there arose moments of panic for fear all would not turn out 
as he so fervently hoped. Because of his own devotion to his re- 
ligious beliefs, the development of the religious side of the stu- 
dents' lives was of vital importance to him. What if, in the sweep 
of enthusiasm and new development, that object were lost sight of? 
What if, when young women of the Society of Friends were brought 
into close association with those of a different world, there should 
come to be an exchange of frivolous ideas, "of unsuitable reading, 
a competition in extravagance of dress and adornment"? Tor- 
mented by the thought of such possibilities, of harm rather than 
good as resulting from his efforts, he would hurry to his desk to 
write a letter addressed to his Trustees, for them to consider after 
he was gone. 

"That these evils [extravagance and display] may be carefully 
guarded against, I urge upon you the propriety of requiring all 
dresses of the students to be of simple and unshowy appearance. 


... At the same time make it a study to embrace every opportu- 
nity to promote health, exercise in the open air. ... By every right 
means try to impose the cultivation of a very high degree of re- 
finement of heart, mind and manners . . . which should be the 
Christian's adorning. . . . May Grace, Mercy and Peace be the re- 
ward of all who shall labor in this work is the prayer of your friend, 
J. W. Taylor." Yet what he was here laying upon his Trustees 
were requests and suggestions, not unchangeable obligations. 

Curriculum, Faculty and students were all in the nebulous fu- 
ture, but it was time now to make a beginning. After much thought 
and discussion of the site of the College with Francis King, a place 
had been chosen at the edge of the village of Bryn Mawr, a mile 
west of Haverford. An architect was engaged, Addison Hutton, and 
the first buildings, one for administration and classes, one for resi- 
dence, were slowly taking form on the ridge of the hill. There was 
here a wide sweep of that country landscape which had always 
meant so much to Joseph Taylor. 

No one labored over plans and the actual building of the new 
College more constantly and valiantly than did its founder. He 
made trips to inspect the buildings of Mount Holyoke, Smith and 
Wellesley; Francis King, Dr. James Thomas and Addison Hutton 
went with him. President Seelye, of Smith, reported briskly and 
practically that Vassar and Wellesley had made the mistake of omit- 
ting closets in their plans and "Young ladies were not satisfied with 
wardrobes." Unfortunately, this sound advice came too late to save 
the plan of the first residence building, and closetless Merion re- 
mained for more than fifty years. 

Dr. Taylor came every day from Burlington to oversee the 
progress of the work. He would ride from Woodlands to Burlington, 
leave his horse with a friend, take a train to Camden, hurry to the 
ferry landing to cross the Delaware, hurry up the other bank to 
get a streetcar across Philadelphia, and hurry for the train to Bryn 
Mawr. All day, in hot sun or cold or wind, he would go over plans, 
answer innumerable questions, make endless decisions. Ground had 
been broken on August 4th, 1879, f r Taylor Hall, the administra- 
tion building which he had reluctantly consented to have named 
for him. The residence hall had followed. It had gone by a variety 


of titles; one of the contractors finally dubbed it, practically, "the 
female Cottage." 

Joseph Taylor saw the foundations laid and the walls begin to 
show their outline. He had actually planned to leave his beloved 
Woodlands and move to an estate near Bryn Mawr, Fox Fields, 
which he had purchased so that he could be nearer at hand. But he 
was never to live there, never to see the setting of the "eight cut 
blue stone brackets/* the largest single item of expense, which were 
to be the crowning glory of Taylor Tower. 

For some weeks, in the midst of his labors, he had been aware 
of a persistent pain in his chest and left arm. Being a doctor, and 
having had none too good a heart ever since the rheumatic fever of 
his youth, he had little doubt as to what it meant. He went on with 
his work, however, through 1879. His architect had gone abroad, 
and progress would be slackened if attention were relaxed. "I have 
got old fast," he said in a letter to his nephew, Charles Shoemaker 
Taylor. "I must be content to be old and slow for so it will be 
for the short remainder to fill out the life of a man." Autumn 
came, but it was an open winter and work went on into January, 
with Joseph Taylor sparing himself nothing. Final illness came 
upon him on a cold day when he had driven several miles to the 
Meeting at Burlington. Three days later he died, on January 18, 
1880, at the age of seventy. 

It remains only, for his personal record, to take that close view 
of him which makes recollection possible and complete. His family, 
even those of the generation which never saw him, speak of him 
with warm affection as being the best and wisest uncle with whom a 
troop of nieces and nephews was ever blessed. He went to see them 
at their schools; he took the most lively interest in all their prob- 
lems. He traveled West with a fatally ill nephew on the forlorn 
quest of recovery of health for him. When his Quaker friend from 
England, John Hodgkin, found himself weary and ailing after a 
long series of visits to scattered Meetings, Joseph Taylor, who had al- 
ready accompanied him on his American travels, returned to Eng- 
land with him to make the journey lighter. The nephews and nieces 
grew up; the great-nephews and great-nieces multiplied and had 
from him the same unfailing affection and generosity. 


He often made jokes about his bachelor state; he enjoyed the 
society of ladies; it was a continued mystery why he never married. 
William Thurston, who was his financial adviser and one of his 
Trustees, had an attractive sister-in-law, who was Joseph Taylor's 
close friend for thirty years, and who remained unmarried all her 
life. There was much speculation on the part of his family as to why 
he did not marry her; speculation cannot presume to hazard an 

All of his contemporaries spoke of him as having the greatest 
delight in neatness and as showing that fastidiousness in matters of 
dress to which Quaker plainness is no bar. Friends spoke of his 
slim, active figure, his searching blue eyes. His portrait, presented 
to the College by his niece, was made from a photograph and so 
fails to give him direct. But nothing can really hide the quality of 
the man there shown, sedately handsome, with cheekbones just 
prominent enough to give character to his face, with ruddy skin and 
humorous eyes and that look of kindliness which, with all its impli- 
cations, should be the tangible detail of our everlasting recollection. 

Chapter III 


On a certain day in May, 1880, a group of serious-faced men sat in 
a Philadelphia office, round a table spread with papers. Friendship 
had brought them there, the tested, adult friendship for one whom 
they had long known, respected and admired. Their lives were al- 
ready full of innumerable interests and duties, but they were about 
to meet, with no reluctance, certain heavier responsibilities, heavier 
because less familiar, duties such as they had not undertaken here- 
tofore. It is a tribute to Joseph Taylor that all of them had such 
deep regard for him that they faced, wholeheartedly and willingly, 
the laborious task which he had put into their hands. There ran 
through the whole group, as a fiber of the same quality as the Found- 
er's, integrity, good sense, generosity, Quaker belief and devotion 
to duty. A part of the papers on the table was made up of the 
voluminous pages of Joseph Taylor's will. Of the friends whom he 
had designated as his Trustees, not one had declined to serve. 

He had stipulated that Francis T. King, of Baltimore, should 
be President of his Board. A successful merchant and banker, Fran- 
cis King had given of his time and his remarkable ability to many 
public interests, to reconstruction after the Civil War, to the ad- 
vancement of freed slaves, in particular to the affairs of Haverford 
College and the Johns Hopkins University. We have a glimpse of 
him in Helen Thomas Flexner's reminiscences, A Quaker Childhood, 
this serious and thoughtful cousin of her father's, coming to Meeting 
it their house in Blue Ridge Summit in his "plain coat," loved by 
all the family, not too busy to have deep and affectionate interest 


in the affairs of its younger members, father of a vivid and intelli- 
gent daughter just grown up, for wfiose ideas and opinions he had 
respectful regard. He had been a member of Haverford College's 
second class. A leading spirit among the Board of Managers of his 
own College, he had also helped to formulate the earlier policies of 
the Johns Hopkins University. He had been given the very impor- 
tant and responsible task of overseeing the building of the 12,500,- 
ooo hospital which was to complete the Johns Hopkins bequest. In 
spite of all his responsibilities he had found time for endless con- 
sultation with Joseph Taylor over the plans for the new College; 
he had sought out people who could give further advice; he had 
helped in looking for building sites, and sat in consultation over 
the architect's plans. 

Near him at the table sat his cousin, James Carey Thomas, a 
wise and generous doctor, overworked even within his own profes- 
sion, and doubly so outside it. He was full of zeal for the promo- 
tion of religious thought, of Quakerism in particular, and in the 
duty of Friends to advance education. It is to be remembered that 
these two had called the conference in Baltimore in 1877 which was 
to have such sustaining influence on the ideas of Joseph Taylor. 
Helen Thomas Flexner has said that he and Francis King had to be 
converted by their daughters to the idea of higher education for 
women. Once convinced, they both went forward without either 
doubt or hesitation. 

At that time James Thomas was regarding with somewhat du- 
bious approval the determined pursuit of a higher degree by his 
eldest daughter, Martha Carey Thomas. No American institution 
would give a Ph.D. to a woman, so that she had gone further to 
seek one, a quest which had led her through Germany and Switzer- 
land. A strong countercurrent to his conservatism was the influence 
of his gifted wife, Mary Whitall Thomas, for whom intuition took 
the place of the long reasoning necessary for others. Her torrent of 
enthusiasm for religious work, for women's advancement, for the 
happiness of her husband and children flowed abundantly through 
the whole of the Thomas family life. There was no doubt in the 
world, in her mind, that her daughter Carey was wholly right. 

Further round the table sat Mary Thomas's brother, James 
Whitall, a man of devotion and wise discernment, who did not 


thrust himself forward, but could give, when needed, the wisest and 
soundest of advice. 

Another cousin sat with them, David Scull, Jr., spare, dark, 
lean-faced, full of caution, conservatism and brilliant executive 
ability combined with a penetrating and vivid love of beauty. He 
was the strictest and most carefully conforming Quaker of them all, 
and many times saw with pain certain steps taken to carry the Col- 
lege forward with its times, saw and suffered but made no resistance 
or complaint. Of all those among the first group of Trustees, his 
was among the longest and certainly was the most laborious service. 
He assisted in the oversight of the building of Taylor and Merion 
halls and, as Chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, 
acted for the Trustees in the erecting of Radnor, Denbigh, Dalton, 
Pembroke, the Library and Rockefeller, with all the subsidiary 
buildings that went up in that long period. 

Francis R. Cope was the eldest member of the Board. Later his 
younger relative, Walter Cope, was to bring his genius as an archi- 
tect to the service of the College and its great enrichment. The 
young man's progressive designs, unique for that time, were to have 
the loyal, though often anxious, support of David Scull. 

James E. Rhoads sat beyond Francis Cope, a man with a long, 
intelligent face and infinitely kind blue eyes, a big man with the 
courageous look of one who has borne pain and illness but has never 
let such matters limit his activities for good. A doctor of medicine 
who had been obliged to give up his wide practice because of ill 
health, he was devoting almost equal energy to philanthropies such 
as furthering the cause of the Indians, the education of Negroes 
and many other projects, large and small. One of the important 
and prosperous girls' schools in the town of Bryn Mawr was made 
possible by a loan from James Rhoads when it had no other back- 
ers. He was a man of extraordinarily wide vision and of faith in 
human powers. At this time he was editor of the Friends' Review, 
a magazine reflecting the more liberal ideas of the Orthodox 
Friends. A few people looked askance upon his tolerant and pro- 
gressive principles, and he was never "recognized as a minister" in 
his own Meeting. He had long been a member of Haverford's Board 
of Managers. Above all he was the intimate and highly regarded 
friend of Joseph Taylor and, perhaps more than any other man, 


understood most fully what it was that the Founder of Bryn Mawr 
wanted to accomplish. 

Charles Shoemaker Taylor, son of Abraham and nephew of 
Joseph, was the youngest member present. He was much like his 
uncle, less like his somewhat austere father, who had thought Joseph 
a trifle light-minded in his attitude toward business. Charles was 
eagerly generous and affectionate, had loved his uncle, was devoted 
to Joseph's farseeing project, and was ever ready to bring his legal 
skill to the service of the College. 

Because of the intimate relation of these men to the early Bryn 
Mawr, one of them becoming President himself, the record of those, 
thus enumerated, is clearer and more direct, and the debt which the 
College owes them is definitely visible. Of the others, Albert K. 
Smiley, head of a Quaker School in Providence; John B. Garrett, 
first Treasurer of the Board; Philip C. Garrett, its President after 
the death of Francis T. King; Charles Hartshorne, Samuel Morris 
and William R. Thurston, the College knows less, although not one 
of them ever stinted his labor for her. Concerning Trustees or Gov- 
ernors or Overseers of any educational institution, all too little is 
put on record, all too little acknowledged of what immense part 
they play in the life and growth and forward progress which de- 
pends so greatly on their gifts for finance and for organization, on 
their caution and their courage, on their understanding judgment. 

By Joseph Taylor's will his Trustees were always to be chosen 
from among the Orthodox branch of the Society of Friends; they 
were to be a self-perpetuating body, selecting successors as vacancies 
occurred. In a singularly successful way, almost unbelievably so, 
they have been self-perpetuating, maintaining the quality and kind 
of their ability and generosity, as generation followed generation 
with mounting years of their untiring aid. As will be seen later, the 
Board of Trustees was enlarged by the addition of Directors. Only 
by reading a full list of those who have thus held office is it possible 
to see what distinguished men and women have given their time 
and effort to the College, and how long and devoted have been 
many of the terms of service. Yet it never can be fully known how 
often they have stood in the breach when the College was faced with 
seemingly insurmountable difficulties, how they have given support 
to courageous plans which seemed almost impossible to carry out. 


They have not wanted and do not look for public recognition of 
all that they have done and given in the fullest sense; the real mat- 
ter of regret is that we, in our time, can only read between the lines 
of the record and wish that we knew more of them. 

The main purpose of this May meeting was to draw up a char- 
ter which, when confirmed by the State of Pennsylvania, would give 
them authority to carry on the College. It is a simple and direct 
one, admirably summarizing the terms of the Founder's will, and 
containing the statement at the end, "The term of this Charter is 
perpetual." No one seemed to doubt that there would forever be 
available persons, able, suitable and devoted, ready to turn their 
hands to the necessary labors. Human nature being, as it is, rich 
and continuingly generous, it seems that such qualities will always 
be in full supply. 

In their close examination of Joseph Taylor's will, his Trustees 
found themselves puzzled by certain items. Their successors have 
been puzzled in their turn, for the will was, in fact, written by a 
man who was in two minds. It was very lengthy; the items which 
dealt with the College began in paragraph forty. Before that it 
was the ordinary will of a generous and loving member of a large 
family, with bequests to his sister, to his nephews and nieces, to his 
great-nephews and great-nieces, to his faithful employees. "The 
widow of my former stableman" was remembered; he had set up a 
fund for "giving fuel to the poor in the more inclement seasons of 
the year"; a certain building was to be open to religious meetings 
"without regard to sects, except that they shall be orthodox." In the 
later and, to us, the vital portion of the will, his main purpose was 
unfalteringly clear, for he never wavered in his intention to give 
young women a liberalizing education, one that would enlarge their 
lives and make them more responsive members of society. And, 
in the process, he wanted them to have the very best that could be 
given them. Just how this was to be brought about he did not feel 
himself qualified to determine. He had earnestly sought advice, and 
it had come to him of two distinct kinds. 

His consultations with Francis T. King and James Carey 
Thomas had been frequent, but had not settled him in any final 
plan of action. That the policy, left in their hands to determine, 
would greatly resemble that of the Johns Hopkins University he was 


well aware. But when, on the other hand, very much on the other 
hand, he had sought the advice of President Chase, of Haverford, 
he received counsel of a very different stamp. Later, Thomas Chase 
wrote to James Rhoads much of what, in substance, he had enjoined 
on Dr. Taylor and how, rather to his own surprise, he found that 
a great deal of his letter of advice had been incorporated, word 
for word, in Joseph Taylor's will. That it would be a small college 
was self-evident; its beginning at least was bound to be so. That it 
should be rigidly selective and strictly sectarian was not in keeping 
with the ideas discussed with Joseph Taylor's other advisers. The 
often quoted phrase, a college "for the advanced education and 
care of young women and girls of the higher and more refined 
classes of Society," originated with Thomas Chase and not with Jo- 
seph Taylor. So also did the provision that the students should be 
taught "the doctrines of the New Testament as accepted by Friends 
and taught by Fox, Penn, and Barclay." Thomas Chase commented, 
*'I had a vision of Hicksites, Progressives, Primitives . . . claiming 
in future days the control of Taylor College." He himself thought, 
but was not quite certain, that it was he who recommended that 
the Trustees should always be Orthodox Friends "in a close corpo- 
ration." The Christian life of the students was to be constantly cared 
for and guarded; they were to be surrounded always by sustaining 
religious influence. Those were to be admitted who were of other 
sects and churches, but they must agree from the beginning that 
they were to be instructed according to Quaker principles. 

Joseph Taylor was certain, from his own experience, that the 
religiously enlightened life was the happiest one. How to ensure it 
for those whom he hoped so greatly to benefit was his vital concern. 
In attempting to set forth instructions for that purpose he was fac- 
ing the problem which runs through the whole history of Bryn 
Mawr College, as it does through that of any college: how its re- 
ligious life is best to be cherished and advanced. It is a question 
which, once answered, has to be restudied again and yet again, as 
times change and the attitude of young people alters with them. It 
was a problem which Joseph Taylor could not fully solve but left 
to those who came later. 

With Francis King and James Thomas, Dr. Taylor wished to 
throw open the doors of enlarged ideas and sustaining knowledge to 


all the young people able to partake of them. But, with Thomas 
Chase, he thought that the results could be achieved by strict and 
"guarded" instruction, molded by sectarianism. Yet he was really 
laying an impossible task upon his Trustees. Fortunately, his will 
had a saving grace in the instruction, "Should it be impracticable to 
carry out any part of the above provisions literally, my Executors 
and Trustees are to use their discretion." 

It was a group of men very conscious of the greatness of their 
undertaking and its difficulties who pushed back their chairs and got 
up when the meeting came to an end. They had selected a Treas- 
urer, John Garrett; a Secretary, David Scull; and had made James 
Rhoads Vice President of the Board. It was understood that they 
would go forward at once with the building program which Joseph 
Taylor had begun, and, so that they might use income from the es- 
tate for construction, they would give themselves five years for prep- 
aration, with the date for opening the College put in the autumn of 
1885. They would presently have to appoint a President, choose a 
Faculty and set up a policy for courses of study, but that time was 
not quite yet. 

Records have failed to reveal conclusively at just what point it 
was decided that Bryn Mawr, unlike any other women's college al- 
ready in existence, was to have a department for graduate study. 
Carey Thomas said thirty years later, "A college without graduate 
students . . . never occurred to us/' This, it was concluded, was 
the ablest and fullest method of carrying out what the Founder 
wanted in his plea for "teachers of the highest type" who were to 
come to the rescue of other colleges and schools so badly in need 
of highly trained women. It is possible that Dr. Taylor had discussed 
this specific matter with Francis King and James Thomas, and that 
these two and James Rhoads knew that it was his direct wish. The 
fact that he had thought of establishing his College in Baltimore as 
a close adjunct to Johns Hopkins University makes such an idea 
seem possible. Or did these two men who were so close to the 
knowledge and the principles of the graduate school of Johns Hop- 
kins pursue the intention on their own part and bring the others 
to agree with them? It made the requirements for selecting a Fac- 
ulty far more stringent; it offered a much heavier drain on the 
endowment than would any more ordinary arrangement. Other col- 


leges had been founded with a preparatory department, and had 
found them a drag and a difficulty from the beginning. Bryn Mawr 
looked in the other direction, began with a graduate department 
and went forward from there. But the decision was to involve them 
In grave problems. 

The construction begun and so affectionately supervised by 
Joseph Taylor went steadily onward. The buildings went up; other 
adjoining tracts of land were purchased as they came into the 
market. James Rhoads, with David Scull as his assistant, carried the 
burden of making contracts, discovering errors, arriving at difficult 
conclusions. It was found that the site of Cottage Number One, 
later to be named Merion Hall, was impractical, and the building 
had to be begun all over again. There were to be a gymnasium 
and an "economic building," which did not mean what one would 
think, for it housed the pumps, the laundry and other utilities. A 
little later this last structure was to burn to ashes on a still sum- 
mer night, for since it held all the fire-fighting apparatus, as well as 
the pumps, there was no way of saving it. Water supply was inad- 
equate and, for the first years, a constant vexation. There was to 
be a house for the President, across the road from the originally 
purchased tract. 

For nearly every educational institution founded toward the 
end of the nineteenth century, the campus is disfigured by one or 
more buildings designed in the regrettable taste of that period. 
Bryn Mawr was exposed to the most pronounced phase of it, but 
fortunately escaped the very worst. Taylor Hall will always be 
tolerantly and affectionately derided, but in it Quaker simplicity 
had repudiated much of the Victorian flamboyance which threat- 
ened it. To Addison Hutton, a Quaker himself and the architect 
selected by Joseph Taylor, Francis King wrote: "Elevations for the 
buildings . . . will be in keeping with our profession, with the life 
of the donor, with the object of the foundation. I would like to see 
in the group of buildings a perfect expression of these three com- 
bined/* It was no easy assignment and, to modern eyes, rather im- 
perfectly carried out. Actually, the exterior of Taylor bears a family 
resemblance to the Baltimore Quaker Meeting House where Fran- 
cis King and Dr. Thomas held their educational conference. The 
tower was added as a special academic touch. The plan for its in- 


terior was taken almost unchanged from that o the original ad- 
ministration building at Smith. An excellent plan it has proved to 
be; the place was, for the time being, commodious, fully lighted a 
fact rather rare in buildings of that period and well suited to its 
purpose and adaptable as that purpose changed. Until 1906 it 
housed the library, the auditorium, the graduate seminaries and, 
for the first few years, the science laboratories as well as the class- 
rooms. Along its upper hall has always been the suite of offices for 
the President and the President's assistants. 

It was coming to be time, by 1883, to discuss who that Pres- 
ident was to be. James Rhoads and James Carey Thomas were be- 
ing talked of as the most appropriate for the choice. Then, in the 
autumn of that year, James Rhoads received an unexpected letter. 
The writer was Martha Carey Thomas, daughter of his colleague, a 
young person a very young person she seemed to him whom they 
all knew of as having gone abroad, three years ago, to seek ad- 
vanced studies. A sentence on the first page could not fail to catch 
his full attention at once. "I felt that I might, without presump- 
tion, and in case no one better fit should be found, offer myself as 
a candidate for the presidency of Bryn Mawr." 

It was, and is, an extraordinary letter, written by one who was 
already an extraordinary person. The text of it was a collaboration, 
for its rough draft is preserved in the handwriting of Mary Gwinn, 
Carey Thomas's friend from Baltimore who was her companion in 
the expedition for study in Germany. Scrawled notes on the mar- 
gin show, however, in whom the combined effort had its real source. 

"Dear Friend," it began, the customary opening of a letter 
from one Quaker to another, "My old desire to see an excellent 
woman's college in America has made the management of Bryn 
Mawr from the time of its first endowment a matter of great in- 
terest to me. It is now three years and a half since I came abroad. 
. . . When last ninth month I was more successful in my examina- 
tion than I had before thought possible and received the rarely 
awarded degree of Doctor of Philosophy summa cum laude, I 
felt . . ." 

The rather astounding proposal from a person of "almost 
twenty-seven" was far from being the whole thesis of the letter. 

". . . Without further reference to any possible presidentship 


of mine, I should be glad if thou wouldst permit me, simply as a 
woman much interested in Bryn Mawr, to speak to thee of what I 
desire for it, and to make a few suggestions of which none, perhaps, 
may be at all new to thee." The plans she sets forth are carefully 
laid and founded on fully explained reasons. "I am anxious that 
Bryn Mawr should open with a full number of competent profes- 
sors and with as high a standard as it may intend to reach or main- 

Of fellowships she makes great point, for they represent the 
very heart of what she wishes to say. She wished Bryn Mawr to be 
no competitor among other colleges, "to go a-begging" for students. 
Those who came were to have, all of them, the very highest quality 
of instruction, while those of special gifts and desires were to find 
available what they could get nowhere else in America, the op- 
portunity "to pursue advanced studies among women." Fellows, 
supported by grants from the College, and selected from the grad- 
uates of other colleges, later to come from Bryn Mawr itself, were 
to be the principal material for this higher training. In this connec- 
tion the letter voices one of her firmest principles, long stressed in 
her later administration of the College, that the "solid and scientific 
instruction" which was the preparation for graduate study was the 
only proper discipline for those seeking a "briefer and more general 
education." Joseph Taylor's stipulation that Bryn Mawr was to have 
as one of its principal objects the training of "teachers of a high 
order" was to be carefully cherished in her system. 

She was quite familiar with the terms of Joseph Taylor's will 
and has immediately this to say about his behests concerning Quak- 
erism: "In the first choice of professors the utmost stress shall be 
laid on their excellence in their own departments. That of two men 
equally good, a Friend would be preferred is a matter of course, 
but if Bryn Mawr begin by appointing, because they were Friends, 
men inferior to the professors that could otherwise be obtained, it 
will hurt and not benefit the cause of education in the Society of 
Friends, it will make the average of education in it at least no 
higher than elsewhere." 

Study of her letter in our own day shows it to be something of 
the same importance as Dr. Taylor's will and certainly as reveal- 
ing. Nor was it written by a person between two minds. There can 


be no doubt that James Rhoads and the other Trustees read it 
again and again, and that they saw many of their already formi- 
dable problems reflected in it, saw also the boldness and good sense 
that was meeting and reckoning with such difficulties. Time was 
passing; the work of preparation would be greatly furthered by ap- 
pointment of the necessary administrative officers; a choice must 
soon be made. Carey Thomas had returned to America not long 
after the letter had been written. What immediate answer James 
Rhoads returned to her is not recorded; certainly the question of 
appointment was open still for a number of months. Those who 
did not know her well had time to take measure of her; those 
who were intimately connected with her, James Carey Thomas, 
Francis King, James Whitall who had encouraged her to make 
her application to Dr. Rhoads and David Scull took measure of 
themselves. In March of 1884 it was the task of James Rhoads to 
write to her that the Board of Trustees had selected him as Presi- 
dent and that she was to be his assistant with the title Dean of the 
Faculty. Her reply could hardly be bettered. 

"I received thy cordial letter announcing to me the decision of 
the Bryn Mawr Trustees. In the talks we have hitherto had I have 
felt that the true welfare of the college was a subject that lay near- 
est to both our thoughts and I feel that in the future it will be 
constant pleasure to be able to work with thee in promoting its 

Chapter IV 


If the new President and Dean of Bryn Mawr were to see the Col- 
lege open on the appointed date, they could not afford to let any 
grass grow under their feet. Hannah Whitall Smith, Carey Thom- 
as's famous aunt, whose books of religious discussion and experi- 
ence were read by a wide public, used to speak of any special op- 
portunity or inspiration for devoted work as an "Opening** in a 
very special sense. For these two officers of the new College, the be- 
ginning of Bryn Mawr made just such an opportunity. Unlike as 
they were in age, in approach to difficult questions and in tempera- 
ment, they were united in their industry and enthusiasm. One differ- 
ence was a fortunate one; Dr. Rhoads, whose health had been so 
limited that he had been obliged to give up what seemed to be his 
life work, had now someone of unbounded energy to hold up his 

James Rhoads, thirty years older than Carey Thomas, had been 
born on January 21, 1828, in Marple Township, Delaware County, 
Pennsylvania, on a farm which an ancestor had bought from Wil- 
liam Penn in 1699. Farming and business had occupied his sturdy 
and able family for eight generations, for to the raising of crops in 
the rich Pennsylvania soil they had added first the tanning of hides, 
later the processing of leather for commercial belting. J. E. Rhoads 
and Sons was established as a business which has remained in con- 
tinuous activity as a partnership for two hundred and fifty years. 
Young James was sent to Westtown, the coeducational Quaker 
boarding school, and went on to study medicine in the office of 
his uncle, Dr. Charles Evans. He taught briefly in a Philadelphia 



Friends' school before he became an Interne at the Pennsylvania 
Hospital, and was ready to enter on practice at the age of twenty- 
three as contrasted with Joseph Taylor's bare twenty. 

Unlike Joseph Taylor, moreover, he entered rather easily into 
an established practice, taking over that of a Germantown physi- 
cian who had recently died. James Rhoads's own ability and en- 
thusiasm for his work extended his circle of patients far beyond 
what any single doctor with horse-and-chaise transportation should 
have tried to cover. Handsome, competent and zealous to do good, 
he brought to his profession skillful care for ailing bodies and, be- 
sides this, unobtrusive and untiring interest in the true welfare of 
those who came to him. He would see fifty patients in a day and 
never fail to give and to say something of benefit for each. His 
character had a radiant quality to which those who knew him gave 
unforgetting testimony. 

Only his rather unusual gift for system and organization made 
such a practice in any way possible. But as time went on and ten 
years of arduous service passed, he began to be troubled in an un- 
expected quarter. He believed that he was making an undue 
amount of money out of the relief of human suffering, and that 
an income of $4,000 a year under such circumstances was unjusti- 
fied. The Civil War was in progress, and every conscientious citi- 
zen was asking himself what his place and duty were in the face of 
his country's need. James Rhoads's hesitations and doubts as to 
where his responsibility lay were cut short by an arbitrary event; 
he woke up one morning to find himself paralyzed. 

There seemed to be hope that an originally vigorous constitu- 
tion could throw off the effects even of this calamity, and in time 
that proved to be possible. A long rest and a trip to Europe were 
the first expedients tried, giving him time to find fulfillment for 
his deep love of reading and for things of the intellect, as well as 
to exercise his taste for writing. When he returned home the Civil 
War was over. It was all too evident that he could not practice 
medicine again, but there was everywhere work to which to set his 
hand. The vast problem of reconstruction in the South, the ques- 
tion of what was to be done for the immense number of slaves set 
free in an economic world which had no place ready for them, was 
a matter of large interest to the Quakers and, among them, to 


James Rhoads. He became the organizer and chairman of various 
societies for the education and employment of freedmen; he took 
vigorous part in the founding of Hampton Institute in Virginia; 
he made every effort by speaking and writing to instruct public 
opinion as to the duty of the whole United States to those helpless 
products of so profound a change in the American economy. 

Quakers also had for some time held a brief for the better 
treatment of the American Indians, neglected everywhere by a care- 
less Government. President Grant, seeing how this interest was an 
asset to the country, established the custom of putting Quakers in 
charge of Indian affairs. James Rhoads was President of the Indian 
Rights Association and long held office in other, similar, organiza- 
tions. All this was a stern schedule of activities for a recovering in- 
valid, but he was an invalid who prospered with work and who was 
rapidly improving in health. Finally, as a tribute to his intellectual 
and literary ability, he was asked to be editor of the Friends' Re- 
view. In this office he had acted for six years with great success and 
had, apparently, found the niche of usefulness in which he was to 
pass the rest of his working life. 

His deep interest in all the affairs of the Society of Friends 
made a large factor in any scheme of life which, with returning 
health, he was now setting up. He made several visits to the South 
to help in starting new schools for the Negroes; he visited Indian 
Territory (now Oklahoma) as a companion to Thomas Wistar. 
They attended Indian council meetings and visited many ' 'Indian 
agents," many of whom were Friends. He made, in addition, jour- 
neys of visitation to small and distant Meetings. Moreover, his 
services as a member of Haverford College's Board of Managers 
made unending charges on his time and effort. It was here that his 
path and that of Joseph Taylor came together, with the ideas and 
desires of both of them running in similar courses. 

James Rhoads's kindly tolerance, his good sense and gift for 
looking into people's minds and hearts were all servants of his very 
real religious dedication. He "could not bear an atheist," but for all 
established faiths he had deep understanding and respect. Rufus 
Jones, as a small boy in the tiny Quaker community of South China, 
Maine, formed an imperishable memory of him and the moment of 
their first meeting, when James Rhoads had come that long dis- 


tance on a Quaker visitation. He put his hand on the boy's head 
and, with startling unexpectedness, made the declaration: "In the 
midst of a perverse and crooked generation he will shine as a light 
in the world," "At that time," so Rufus Jones commented later, 
"nothing seemed more unlikely." ; 

Having accepted the Presidency o Bryn Mawr College, Dr. 
Rhoads at once hastened to Baltimore and there held consultations 
with his friends and his new assistant. There is a definiteness and 
graphic power in plans drawn up and written down under James 
Carey Thomas's eye that seems easy to recognize. Carey Thomas 
had a notebook already full of questions and answers concerning 
the major problems, with tentative schedules of curriculum and 
with suggestions of policy concerning appointment of professors. 
The Johns Hopkins University was, in time, to offer many candi- 
dates; its professors and heads of departments were to give con- 
structive and interested advice concerning many more. Already 
Carey Thomas had had an interview with President Oilman, and 
had recorded his advice in her notebook: "Appoint no professors 
without reference to their usefulness ten or fifteen years hence. 
When once established, it is impossible to get rid of them," was 
one of his urgings, with the warning also that "Geniuses are not 
desirable for students," since in his eyes they did not make good 
day-to-day teachers. If Bryn Mawr was to go forward with the plan 
of fellowships and a strong graduate school, as seemed to be the 
intention of all now concerned with the College, he insisted that it 
must be remembered that professors might be apt to "yield to the 
fascination of postgraduate work and look down upon the teaching 
of undergraduates." 

Dr. Rhoads had made out a tentative schedule of organization, 
which provided for a department of psychology combined with eth- 
ics, logic, and Christian evidences, another of Greek and Latin, oth- 
ers of English literature and German, of French language and 
literature, of mathematics, of history and political science, of chem- 
istry and physics, of geology, botany and zoology (one course each 
year). Further it was desirable that there should be instruction in 
physiology, hygiene and biology, and some lectures in art. Stern fac- 
ing of practical conditions, however, cut this plan very drastically. 
There was to be no deviation from the policy that all teaching 


should be done at the highest possible level, that every department 
must be in the hands of a specialist and that it would be better to 
limit the number of branches and perfect them, one at a time, 
than to try to cover too much ground at once. In making appoint- 
ments there was to be free use of young and promising candidates. 
It was true that almost nowhere could be found anyone, at any 
level in the profession, who had experience in teaching women. 

It was arranged that Carey Thomas was to make a tour of in- 
spection of the other women's colleges, to bring back specific in- 
formation and, so James Rhoads must have wisely seen, to add to 
her own knowledge of American schools, of which she so far knew 
but little. Vassar had been, by this time, in operation for twenty 
years, Wellesley and Smith for ten. Mount Holyoke was in the status 
of a seminary; Harvard Annex was no more than "a few rooms in a 
private house, whither the Harvard professors came to repeat the 
lectures they have delivered to the Harvard students." Carey 
Thomas brought back much practical information about house- 
keeping, about the size of lecture platforms and the finish of floors, 
about the qualities and duties of the ladies-in-charge in the separate 
houses. She learned some important financial truths: that income 
from board and from tuition must be kept separate, that rooms 
should vary in price to suit parental purses of different capacity 
and that income from endowment must be applied only to tuition. 

There was useful matter to be found out in these material de- 
tails, she declared in her report of the journey, "but their scho- 
lastic organization is much more remotely interesting." She added 
further, "The conditions of female education have changed since 
their opening, and they themselves feel this." She was not fully 
aware that this was what happened to every college and that Bryn 
Mawr, too, would have to face changes when the conditions of 
female education altered with time. Again and again she was 
warned against the dragging incubus of a preparatory department, 
but she was quite willing to have nothing to do with such a project 
as part of the College. Moreover, she and her two closest friends, 
Mary Gwinn and Mary Garrett, had united to set up the Bryn 
Mawr School in Baltimore, which was designed not only to pre- 
pare students for the new College but to serve as a model for other 
preparatory schools to follow. 


In the summer correspondence between James Rhoads and 
Carey Thomas one gets some idea of the questions and answers 
that went back and forth between them. Matters of buildings were 
so far entirely in his hands, except for the making over of the little 
cottage already on the grounds which was to be the Deanery. Ar- 
rangements for housekeeping they consulted over together, those of 
finance only partially. The question of appointments and of cur- 
riculum they discussed as equals, though final judgment lay in the 
hands of President Rhoads with confirmation by the Board of 
Trustees. Carey Thomas was their talent scout, their general di- 
rectory of scholars, their preliminary inspector of candidates. Even 
on her first tour she kept careful notes on different teachers and 
professors, most of whom she found wanting. "He is a nice man 
but a wretched teacher," she said of one. "His Logic recitation a 
farce," she noted of another. "No degree, pretentious, disagree- 
able." "Latin class well drilled, nothing further," described still an- 
other, and of a Miss Emily Gregory at Wellesley, "Very able woman, 
admirably adapted for our purpose." 

Her report of her findings was read and digested; decisions 
were made; the bulking major problems were brought under con- 
trol along with the swarms of minutiae. Buildings were furnished 
and organized; courses of study were laid down. One by one the 
necessary appointments were made. Carey Thomas made it her busi- 
ness to be widely informed concerning possible candidates, but she 
and James Rhoads occasionally differed in opinion over them. She 
was apt to stress scholarship at the cost of personality; he was more 
careful in looking for the right temperament to fit harmoniously 
into the new and untried organization. "As a man of moderate 
mental force," he observed of one applicant, "I should expect him 
capable of fairly thorough scholarship in a limited sphere." Of 
someone else he pronounced flatly, "He will make us a stepping- 
stone, with no sincere interest in his work." 

On one special point they differed widely, but he was not to be 
moved. "We are justified in making no other announcement than 
that the College is founded on a Christian basis, and then solicit 
applications for Fellowships. This would make our position can- 
did, just and unimpeachable." 

She would not have stressed the point so directly, but she did 


not demur. Everyone who knew her Intimately spoke later of her 
capacity for warm affection, and this warmth of regard she had 
bestowed freely upon James Rhoads. His occasional very temper- 
ate admonitions were received with respect and a tempering of her 
own more vigorous impulse. 

"I doubt whether a young college just starting out is called 
upon to pass judgment on the Universities of America/' he wrote 
her, early in 1885, concerning some public statement which she 
wished to make. "Is it wise to provoke the smile or the irritation 
with which Cornell or Harvard or Michigan University may re- 
ceive the announcement of such an opinion?" 

No one can know how many errors of precipitate enthusiasm 
he saved her from, or how much he taught her. Nor can anyone 
know how great a burden of difficult work she lifted from his 
shoulders in her vigorous willingness to do her full share. In mate- 
rial matters he often advised her of the need of caution and less 
earnest progress, but never because they did not see eye to eye as 
to the future of the College. Where Joseph Taylor was uncertain, 
desiring both that it should be small and concentrated, and wide in 
its vision and possibilities, James Rhoads never hesitated in his own 
belief. "We are taxing our funds too heavily, leaving no margin 
for expansion," he wrote to Carey Thomas in that anxious contem- 
plation of the finances of the future which is one of the large tasks 
of college presidents. "Our resources will be inadequate to con- 
tinue the college on the scale upon which we have begun, except 
that we receive additional funds soon. But expansion is both ad- 
visable and inevitable." He fixed his attention upon the additional 
funds and not upon the inadequate resources. "Perhaps when it 
shall appear that we are good stewards of what we have, more will 
come." In his eyes a good steward was a bold one. 

Concerning scholastic matters he was quite capable of taking a 
firm stand. Charlotte Angus Scott, Doctor of Science from the Uni- 
versity of London, one of the truly distinguished scholars to be 
appointed early, was a bright and particular star of Carey Thomas's 
discovery. But James Rhoads said firmly that her entrance examina- 
tions were too hard and that, on the other hand, her elementary 
mathematical course fell below the level maintained by Johns Hop- 
kins. He insisted also that at the beginning the science courses must 


afford some recitations, "since those young students who are inept 
at taking notes will be lost." 

The establishment of entrance requirements, the formation of 
a curriculum, the determination of how much freedom of choice 
in courses was to be allowed to the students were all knotty ques- 
tions for this untried Administration and Board of Trustees to 
answer. Education in general had not yet established any accepted 
solution of the problems. Other colleges were coming reluctantly 
to the realization that too rigid a system of required work could be 
a stumbling block to education; at Harvard President Eliot had 
shocked many when he introduced his complete freedom of selec- 
tion. Johns Hopkins University had taken a modified course and 
offered allied subjects which could be chosen in combination but 
not taken alone. Bryn Mawr followed this method and arranged a 
system of her own, for subjects to be specialized in by pairs, history 
with political science, Greek with Latin, English with any other 
language, ancient or modern. At least half the student's work must 
be in required courses, and there must be offered toward the degree 
English, philosophy, one of the sciences, Greek, Latin and a knowl- 
edge of two modern languages. 

The small size of the College, where there were facilities only 
for a limited number, indicated that entrance requirements should 
be made exacting. In the first circular of information sent out by 
the Trustees in 1883, it was rather vaguely suggested that there 
might be possible acceptance on certificate from especially priv- 
ileged schools or teachers. It was probably Carey Thomas who made 
short work of that suggestion before the second circular was issued 
in 1884. Throughout her whole connection with the College she 
often referred to such a policy as being, in her opinion, an utterly 
untenable concession to expediency. Thus Bryn Mawr took a mid- 
dle way in the matter of election of studies, and a conservative 
stand upon entrance requirements. But in the list of courses of- 
fered one reads at once that here was a new institution, launching 
out into the swirling educational current of the later nineteenth 
century with all its unknown possibilities. The first courses in the 
survey of English literature, science courses for freshmen, instead of 
for advanced students only these were rare or were complete in- 
novations. Economics, politics and history were almost unknown as 


college subjects, especially in colleges for women; but these were 
offered here, even though all in one department with a single in- 
structor, who was, however, Woodrow Wilson. 

The summer o 1885 drew to a close, and plans and arrange- 
ments had fallen more or less into proper line. The buildings were 
finished, Taylor housing the library, the chapel, the classrooms and 
Administration offices. The Cottage, now Merion, was ready for 
the first class, and also the gymnasium. Bryn Mawr, under the aus- 
pices of two doctors of medicine, was to have a fully up-to-date 
attitude toward the care of the students' health. There was a house 
for the President, Cartref, which was to have a multitude of uses 
later; there were the three small buildings remodeled, one for the 
Dean, two for the shelter of Faculty. The Deanery was to have a 
brilliant future and many metamorphoses; of the other two, one 
was already named the Greenery, whereupon the other was 
promptly dubbed the In Betweenery. The two were in time to come 
together later to form Yarrow East and West and still continue to 
be quarters for Faculty. Relics of the active farming which had once 
occupied the site of the College were everywhere. The farmer's 
house became the cottage for the superintendent; the stables and 
sheds were made into shops and storehouses. Later a little physics 
laboratory was built adjacent to them, indistinguishable in design 
from the other sheds. Old roads which had once been thoroughfares 
became shrub-lined walks or green pathways edged with trees. Big 
fruit trees survived for long; the very last of them, a huge cherry 
tree, still lives, at this writing, in the garden of the Deanery. 

The list of the Faculty had been completed, after much corre- 
spondence, discussion, weighing of doubts and high expectations. 
There must have been as much of it on the part of the recipients of 
the appointments as of those who offered them. Who knew exactly 
what to make of a new College, avowedly dedicated to a new ap- 
proach to women's education, which was a new and somewhat 
unaccountable thing in itself? Would a young scholar casting in his 
lot with it rise with its prestige or fall with its own failure to live up 
to its intentions? "I should of course prefer to teach young men," 
Woodrow Wilson wrote to a friend, "and if I find that teaching at 
Bryn Mawr stands in the way of my teaching afterward in some 
men's college, I shall, of course, withdraw." He had taken pains to 


ascertain that "I would not be under a woman, so far as I can learn, 
but my own master, under Dr. Rhoads." 

It was one of the things that drew the Faculty in spite of any 
doubts. They were to be independent in teaching; of that both James 
Rhoads and Carey Thomas had fully assured them. Most of them 
were to be heads of the newly organized departments. And further, 
they were to have at once the opportunity for which many profes- 
sors waited for years: they were to teach graduate students; they 
were to build advanced courses out of their own research. That 
research, the furthering of their own knowledge and the world's 
scholarship, was to be respected and provided for. Not many were 
invited; practically none declined. 

So far the resources of the College could afford fellowships in 
only five departments; the others must wait. The five fellows had 
been selected with as much care as had been the Faculty. They were 
to be the nucleus of the graduate school, the first in an American 
women's college and for some years the only one. 

A group of thirty-six young women had survived the entrance 
examinations and were enrolled as the undergraduate Class of 1889. 
Just what that fact stood for is hard to estimate now, no matter how 
we exercise sympathetic imagination. For their parents it meant 
unaccustomed budgets strained, since there had been no years-long 
taking-for-granted that there would be education for the girls of the 
family as well as for the boys; it meant wonder as to what exposure 
to life away from home would bring about; it meant happy fulfill- 
ment in one generation of what had been vainly desired in an 
earlier one. For the girls themselves it meant hopes and ambitions 
determinedly pursued, prejudices and obstacles overcome; it meant 
turning a deaf ear to the innumerable warnings that four years 
spent in institutional life would be a death blow to matrimonial 

Consciously or unconsciously, every one of the students who 
came later has owed a debt to those who entered first. Here was 
a truly great experiment in American education, the proving of how 
far women's minds could go, once the limits of opportunity were 
removed. The College was embarking on an arduous and appar- 
ently doubtful venture; it was to face delays and distresses, but 
there is only one thing which could have made it really fail. If 



there had not been at hand, and at once, the appropriate and fully 
worthy material, those who had the final intention most deeply at 
heart, it could not have gone on to fulfill the real hopes of its 
Founder, and one more seminary for limited and mediocre teaching 
would have come into being. That was not what Joseph Taylor 
intended, nor his Trustees, nor most of all James Rhoads and 
Carey Thomas. 

The trains were crowded on that stormy day of September 23, 
1885; arriving visitors overflowed into the classrooms adjoining the 
chapel, crowded the stairs and corridors; ushers were besieged and 
harried, then as always afterward. In the front seats sat the first 
class and the fellows; on the platform were the Faculty, the Trustees, 
the officers of the College, and the speakers. James Carey Thomas 
could look across at his handsome daughter and feel the emotion 
which is one of the highest that life offers, justifiable parental pride. 
She was impressive in her academic dress, the blue-faced doctor's 
gown so becoming to her high coloring, with the splendid hood of 
the University of Zurich which symbolized all she had labored so 
hard to win. Those labors had done much to prove to him and to 
others how important was the cause of women's education. He could 
see, among the grave faces of th first class, those of two other 
daughters, his young daughter-in-law-to-be and his niece. Beyond, 
among the spectators, sat his wife, radiant with joy over the success 
and promise of this occasion. 

Because Francis "King was ill, Philip Garrett presided. After 
the Bible reading a passage which Joseph Taylor might well have 
chosen and after James Carey Thomas's prayer there followed a 
silence of that same sort which had so many times furthered the 
planning and the vision of what was coming into being today; after 
all this, James Rhoads was introduced and came forward to make 
his inaugural statement to the guests, to the Faculty, to the new 

The plan which Joseph Taylor had set on foot, he said, was so 
far-reaching that no single foundation could or should be able to 
accomplish the whole of it. With one exception this was the largest 
bequest ever so far given to women's education, but it was only a 
beginning. Needed were men and women "of one mind with Joseph 
Taylor," who shared his conviction and his concern, to make it 


possible for the College to fulfill its highest purpose. He addressed 
himself to the Faculty. "I give you joy of your high calling," he said, 
but added a warning and they were all young enough to need it 
concerning that "rough contact with the barriers which limit hu- 
man endeavour" which they were bound to encounter. To the stu- 
dents he offered, as was like him, a warm and kindly welcome into a 
new life, making clear, without unduly enlarging upon it, that in 
their hands lay Bryn Mawr's real future. 

There sat on the platform, among the Faculty, a future Presi- 
dent of the United States. There sat among the students the future 
winners of high honors for inspiring labor in many fields. The 
thoughts of many were turned forward that day, but in such a new 
enterprise who could tell what was to come? James Russell Lowell, 
the final speaker, had finished his address; the audience was moving 
out in the sedate disorder of crowded aisles and politely jostling 
shoulders. The girls in the front rows stood up stiff with long sitting 
through the talk which had been, so much of it, of and to and for 
them. They were aware, though not too fully, that the keystone of 
an arch had been set in place, that in the knowledge and power 
and wisdom expressed in those speeches, and partaken of by an 
absorbed audience, they had heard the keynote addresses of a great 

Later, the whole College, Administration, Faculty, staff and stu- 
dent body were triumphantly photographed on the steps of Taylor. 
President Rhoads and Miss Hetty Stokes, lady-in-charge of Merion 
Hall, are the only ones who look enough older than the students to 
be recognizable as those holding the larger responsibility. The 
gymnasium instructress, the librarian, and Charlotte Angus Scott 
look about the same age as the students, Professor Scott, young as 
only a handful of people remember her now, her face already gen- 
erous and rugged with a sturdy handsomeness that grew more firm 
and rugged as the years went over her head, leaving her great 
powers unimpaired. Carey Thomas has put on a grim expression to 
suit the occasion, which does not make her look older, as she doubt- 
less hoped that it would. Only the men of the Faculty are clearly 
distinguishable as to their position, though the effect of Woodrow 
Wilson's long jaw, the boon of caricaturists later, was diminished by 
an abundant youthful mustache. Paul Shorey, buttoned up to the 


very chin in his best coat, looks out on his new academic world 
with that genial affection which was to win and inspire every 
student who worked with him. Edmund Wilson, destined to become 
a very great figure in his field of biology, and Edward Keiser, of the 
Department of Chemistry, have the look of bearing the whole world 
of science on their shoulders, while the red-haired Edward Wash- 
burn Hopkins seems not in the least weighted down by the burden 
of his Department of Greek, Sanskrit and Comparative Philology. 
Shorey and Woodrow Wilson, one in Greek and Latin, the other 
in history and political science, were, academically speaking, the 
youngest and were associates; the other four were associate profes- 
sors, with Carey Thomas alone a full professor in English and 

The girls, with their high-piled hair, their many buttoned 
basques and the voluminous skirts which must have strained the 
capacity of the Merion wardrobes, would have gladdened Joseph 
Taylor's heart by the look of serious intelligence which every one of 
them wears. Some had waited for years for this opportunity; all were 
fully conscious of how unusual was the chance which had come to 
them; to all it had been made plain that a rugged, rather than easy, 
road of learning was before them. All were determined to stay the 
course. At their class meeting the undergraduates had pledged them- 
selves to work to their very utmost, to regulate their behavior 
rigorously, to wear their caps and gowns and to carry themselves 
in all ways with the academic dignity which a present and a future 
educational world would look to find in them. 

Chapter V 



Getting a college fully under way, launching a project whose 
avowed term is perpetual, calls for an infinite amount of organiza- 
tion and adjustment. One can easily say that James Rhoads's whole 
administration, his headship of the College in action for ten years, 
was all of it the real launching of Bryn Mawr. He was constantly 
tired and overworked; it was inevitable that he should be. But he 
was also justifiably content. Difficulties there were in abundance, 
and disappointments; but there was always a slow movement and 
he was content that it should be slow from small details to greater 
attainments, steady progress toward realizing that wider vision of 
what the College could be, which was always present in his mind. 
The actual buildings of the College must be completed, a process 
that would obviously take years, always bedeviled by such details 
as that the flues of Taylor did not draw when the wind was north- 
northwest, that there must be a shelf behind the kitchen stove in 
Denbigh, that the chimney of the gymnasium had fallen down. And 
beyond that he had the further responsibilities, which he took even 
more conscientiously and seriously, the affairs of the students who 
were to inhabit his buildings and of the Faculty who were to teach 
them and to be taught. He was practically the only older person in 
a community of youth; everyone in that community had much to 
learn, James Rhoads perhaps the most of all, since he was the last 
resort for appeal and decision. His varied life, his earlier disap- 
pointments had taught him how to learn, and, perhaps through 



his Quaker training, he knew well when to speak and when to be 

In the latter days o June, 1888, the President and young Pro- 
fessor Woodrow Wilson sat in earnest colloquy in an interview that 
was bringing out to the full the characteristics of both men. Wilson 
had been the only member of the Faculty appointed without a 
Ph.D., the brilliance of his work at Johns Hopkins and the worth 
of his first book having convinced Bryn Mawr that he was of great 
promise. He had acquired his degree now, had taught successfully 
for three years and had recently accepted promotion and a con- 
tract to remain three years longer. Now he had announced that he 
had an advantageous offer and that he was leaving. One of the 
conditions of his acceptance of promotion had been the appoint- 
ment of an assistant "as soon as it was practicable." In the eyes of 
the Trustees the practicable moment had not arrived; in the eyes of 
Wilson this omission had rendered his contract void. He was com- 
pletely courteous and completely immovable. 

Dr. Rhoads, who liked him exceedingly, who had enjoyed his 
evening visits at the President's House, where the whole family had 
learned to take delight in his charm and his wit, was listening with 
outward calm and inward dismay. Was it not somewhat out of 
order, he urged on Wilson, to leave the College so late in the 
season, with the academic year ended, and a person to take charge 
of a department that included history, economics and politics still 
to be found? Wilson returned that in his judgment there was ample 
time to find someone else. The meeting ended with no yielding on 
Woodrow Wilson's part, only in a cessation of protest on that of 
James Rhoads. There may have been in the room, that day, some 
faint awareness in both men of how great a destiny was before one 
of them. 

The Trustees would have held the young man to his bond, but 
President Rhoads urged that they should let him go. It would be 
impossible for them to equal the offer which he had received 
elsewhere, the President declared, and "he will be dissatisfied if 
retained under any conditions. We had better state that we release 
him from his contract, acknowledging his ability and success as a 
teacher and our personal regard." Carey Thomas was absent from 
the College when this matter was settled; the report of it is in a 


letter written to her by James Rhoads. Straws in the wind indicate 
that she was indignant with Woodrow Wilson for long years after, 
but was reconciled when he was championing the League of Na- 
tions, a cause which had her wholehearted support. At one time or 
another, she invited every successive President of the United States 
to speak at a Bryn Mawr Commencement with one exception. 
President Taft was the only one able to accept; President Wilson 
the only one who never had opportunity to decline. 

Wilson was the first to go, but it soon became all too evident 
that this brilliant early Faculty could not be kept together. The 
very excellence of the first selection made it inevitable that Bryn 
Mawr, with its limited finances, could not hold such scholars long. 
Professor Jean Jacques Sturzinger, head of the Department of Ro- 
mance Languages, was a Swiss who had come from Zurich in 
answer to Carey Thomas's letters to her former instructors asking for 
a candidate for the new College. He returned to Europe in 1890, 
the same year that Edmund Wilson went to Columbia. Paul Shorey, 
who could announce lectures in Latin and draw together a good- 
sized class, and who had added a course in the history of modern 
philosophy because he thought the College needed it, became too 
prominent a scholar for Bryn Mawr to hold and was lost to its 
Faculty in 1891; Edward Washburn Hopkins went to Yale in 1894, 
and Edward Keiser to Washington University in 1898. Only Char- 
lotte Angus Scott resisted all offers and allurements and remained at 
Bryn Mawr until she retired in 1923, a year after Carey Thomas. 

But brief as was the stay of each of these men, their remarkable 
promise and their specialized training had set a pattern for the 
College, which acquired the reputation of offering to young scholars 
wide opportunity for special teaching and for their own research. 
If Bryn Mawr had no high salaries to offer, she had something else. 
Woodrow Wilson was followed by Franklin Giddings in politics and 
later by Charles McLean Andrews in history; Edmund Wilson's 
place was taken by another man who became equally great as a 
biological scholar, Thomas Hunt Morgan; Edward Keiser gave place 
to Elmer Kohler, whom James Rhoads recognized instantly as a 
man of extraordinary powers in the field of chemistry. 

The scientific side of the College was its President's most par- 
ticular pride, and the unusually excellent appointments in its de- 


partments were the fruit of his direct effort. Botany had to be given 
up after the first few years, since there were not sufficient funds, but 
he saw plans set on foot for the addition of geology to the cur- 
riculum and for the acquisition by that department of Florence 
Bascom. In the end, other institutions learned to look to Bryn 
Mawr for young scholars with a future. To have been discovered 
by Carey Thomas's searching eye, to have passed James Rhoads's 
appraising scrutiny, was a recommendation in itself. Johns Hopkins 
University continued to take a vital interest in the new college, to 
suggest young graduates of their own departments, to give advice 
concerning older and more established candidates. 

The President was always accessible for confidential discussion 
to his Dean, his Faculty and his students. This continued even as 
his duties multiplied, as one class became four, as, with the death 
of Francis King at the end of 1890, he became President of the 
Board of Trustees. With the breakdown of some of the first arrange- 
ments in the Department of Philosophy, he took up the lectures on 
Christian ethics, which he carried even beyond the term of his 
Presidency. Basically they reflected Quaker belief, but actually they 
shed broad light on those problems of spiritual thought which 
he knew to be frequent in the minds of young persons coming into 
early and questioning maturity. In a lifelong devotion to re- 
ligious thinking he had found many of the answers, but he had 
learned enough also to know that there must be no pressure and no 
compulsion, no intrusion upon those private thoughts and specula- 
tions to which young people have an inherent right. He held daily 
chapel exercises at a quarter of nine in the morning, at which 
attendance was not compulsory. He conducted a Wednesday night 
Meeting on the Quaker plan, but he resolutely set his face against 
there being a regular First Day Meeting set up at the College, since 
this, he was certain, was not the place for it. The Wednesday night 
Meeting was long continued by the students themselves, after James 
Rhoads's part in them came to an end. 

He had a careful conscience about social observances; he car- 
ried out an ordered schedule of receptions in his comfortable, com- 
modious house, for Faculty and students. When there was any mem- 
ber of the College who had connection with a friend or family 
already known to him, he made a point of seeking her out. Marion 


5 1 

Park, an entering freshman in the autumn of 1894, had just moved 
into Pembroke East, which was ready somewhat late for occupancy. 
Word was brought to her room that Dr. Rhoads was downstairs and 
wanted to see her. Hastily reviewing all the things she might have 
done even in that short time to merit either reprimand or immedi- 
ate expulsion from the College, she went trembling downstairs to 
find that Dr. Rhoads had come with formal care to call upon her 
because he had known her grandfather. It is a pleasure to think of 
the meeting between these two, both Presidents of Bryn Mawr, he 
of the past, she of the future. He, in his tall, mature dignity, she, in 
her shy inexperience, had between them much in common, a hum- 
ble and undemanding devotion to duty wherever it would lead, a 
generous going out to meet the individual qualities and needs of 
other people, a greatness of mind which, in its view of itself, saw no 
greatness at all. 

The multitude of James Rhoads's responsibilities kept him 
over-busy, but he made great effort to see that, so far as possible, 
the same was not to be true of those who worked under him. 
Eyewitnesses still relate how often young Dean Thomas could be 
seen rushing into the President's office, her face dark with anxiety 
and distress over some formidable problem or emergency, to come 
out a few minutes later, all peaceful smiles after receiving his ad- 
vice and reassurance. He saw, early, that her combined labors as 
Dean and member of the Faculty took too much of her time and 
strength, and set about to remedy it. Students came in large num- 
bers to consult her over their courses; the little Deanery with its 
five rooms would not hold them and give her any peace or privacy, 
he decided. To the Deanery were added a room for her study and a 
smaller one for records. It was agreed that she must have a secre- 
tary; the account of how she enrolled the first one being too typical 
of Carey Thomas to be lost to history. 

Abby Kirk, a small, spirited and very able young person, had 
taken the entrance examinations with little hope of being able to 
go further. Dean Thomas met her in the corridor of Taylor and 
congratulated her on her success, adding that they would look for- 
ward to her being a member of the Class of 1892. But Abby Kirk 
was obliged to reply, "I cannot come, Miss Thomas; I cannot afford 


Dean Thomas was sure that something could be done; there 
must be some work that Miss Kirk could do to earn her way. "Can 
you take dictation?" she asked. 

"No, Miss Thomas," Abby Kirk admitted miserably. 

"Can you use a typewriter?" 

"No, Miss Thomas." 

"Can you spell, Miss Kirk?" 

"No, Miss Thomas." 

"Then come next year and be my secretary," Carey Thomas 
pronounced; and the President's report duly declared that "Abby 
Kirk, daughter of the author of Charles the Bold, is to be admitted 
as a student at a reduction of $180, to give a portion of time to 
assisting the Dean and to be under training as a secretary." Evi- 
dently the lack of spelling was something that training could be 
expected to eradicate. 

In June of 1888 the first degrees were granted, two of them. 
They were presented with ceremony in the presence of the Trustees, 
the Administration, the Faculty and the student body. Mary Patter- 
son had entered with an accumulation of credits from another col- 
lege and was now pronounced ready to receive her A.B. And Mary 
Gwinn, that friend of Carey Thomas's who had shared her studies 
abroad, had been persuaded now to more serious ends and to make 
herself eligible for a place at Bryn Mawr. As she stood up, a slim 
figure in trailing silks, as the new yellow-and-white lined hood 
faced with blue went over her black curly hair, the first Ph.D. was 
granted in an American women's college, that same College whose 
future she and Carey Thomas had discussed so remotely in Zurich 
and Paris five years before. Mary Gwinn had come to live with 
Carey Thomas in the Deanery; she was now appointed associate in 
the English Department, although she stipulated that her contract 
should state that "should the Dean's connection with the College 
come to an end, hers would also." She was to become an almost 
legendary figure in the eyes of the students, seldom seen outside 
the lecture room, greatly discussed, vanishing suddenly when she 
made the precipitate marriage of which Carey Thomas so vehe- 
mently disapproved. 

In the next year the first full class was graduated with cere- 
mony and rejoicing. Twenty-four had stayed the course and re- 


celved the congratulations and thanks of the President for giving 
Bryn Mawr such faithful support in carrying out the first steps of her 
great undertaking. A fellowship for graduate study abroad had 
been offered the College; it was won by Emily Balch, who was after- 
wards, as we shall see, to receive the honor of the Nobel Prize in 
1946. Alice Gould was so close a second in the record for the 
European fellowship that her class could not bear to see her miss 
the same opportunity, and among themselves and their families 
they raised sufficient funds for a second award to her. She in her 
turn was to be decorated by the Spanish Government for her nota- 
ble researches on the voyages of Columbus. A friend and neighbor 
of the College, Mr. George W. Childs, had offered an annual prize 
of a gold watch for the best scholar in English. How pleasant it is 
to record that its recipient was Abby Kirk! James Rhoads's conclu- 
sion to his annual report that year reflects one of his most con- 
tinuous concerns regarding his students. "All left in their best 
state of health, except for some temporary fatigue which soon 
passed away." One more argument against women's education had 
been thoroughly disproved. 

Although James Rhoads had the welfare of each student so 
thoroughly at heart, although he was always open to their confi- 
dences and their requests for advice, there was one matter concern- 
ing them in which he absolutely refused to take part. He firmly 
insisted that questions of College discipline, where it had to do with 
the personal behavior of the students, were not within his province. 
Young women were not to be disciplined by a man; the intimate 
private reasons which could lie at the bottom of their conduct were 
only to be dealt with by another woman. Far less than he, should 
the Faculty sit in judgment on the doings of the students, young 
and unmarried as most of his professors were. Certainly there was 
plenty of consultation between him and the Dean, but the real ad- 
ministration of matters concerning conduct was in the hands of 
Carey Thomas. She was, officially, Dean of the Faculty, but her 
duties lay just as much in what had to do with the students. 

In the beginning, the matter of discipline took care of itself. A 
student body of little over forty members, living in one building, 
under the eye of the very acceptable and sagacious lady-in-charge 
in the person of Miss Hetty Stokes, all very conscious of their 


responsibility in a new experiment, did not present many prob- 
lems. They were fresh from homes where a code of decorous be- 
havior was insisted upon. So many of them were Quakers that 
there was no large group who pined for greater gaiety than the 
campus afforded. Miss Stokes was a sociably inclined person, and at 
first held a series of receptions, a form of entertainment upon 
which Quakers looked favorably. She invited the young members of 
the Faculty, who accepted and came, to the great pleasure of all 
concerned. But here Carey Thomas exerted her authority. That 
policy of "no social engagements with the Faculty/* which she man- 
aged to maintain so long, was well to the fore at once. It would 
lower the standard of Bryn Mawr before the watching world, she 
declared, if in a women's college there could be any chance of 
favoritism shown or suspected because of personal preference. The 
students accepted the decree with reservations as to its necessity, 
but they too were jealous for the standard of Bryn Mawr and had 
pledged themselves to uphold it. 

We do not always remember that Bryn Mawr was, practically 
speaking, the first college in America to commit itself to the un- 
proved venture of student self-government, so rapidly has the sys- 
tem passed to men's colleges as well as women's, and ultimately 
and logically has become the general practice. And we do not, many 
of us, know that a working system of self-government at Bryn Mawr, 
and thereafter throughout American education, was in fact founded 
by one of the students, Susan Walker to be Susan Fitzgerald in 
the Class of 1893. 

As a second class followed the first, and to them were added the 
third and fourth, as Radnor opened and then Denbigh, considera- 
tions of conduct had become more complicated. In June, just be- 
fore the Commencement of the Class of 1891, Dean Thomas as- 
sembled all those who were to be in college in the next year and 
made a shattering announcement. There had begun to be such 
widespread infringement of what had been taken as an accepted, 
but unwritten, order of behavior that it was plainly necessary to 
make some change. Hereafter, there would be a meeting of the 
College at the opening of the academic year, and notice would be 
given of what definite requirements and restrictions of conduct 


were necessary, in the opinion o the Administration, to be pre- 
scribed and enforced. 

There was no invitation for questions or discussion, but the 
meeting broke up in a babble of protesting comment as the girls 
went back to their halls. The more thoughtful among them had 
certainly noticed an overstepping of bounds in the last year, tend- 
encies which they had been trying to ignore, but which now had to 
be admitted. Yet was that enough to warrant their losing what they 
realized now had been a most valuable privilege, virtually the op- 
portunity to regulate their own conduct? But Commencement was 
close at hand, and further talk was lost in preparations for going 

One of the juniors, Susan Walker, had, however, taken the mat- 
ter so deeply to heart that she made opportunity to talk of the new 
order with the Dean. Was it not possible, she asked, for the students 
to assume permanent responsibility for their own behavior, to take 
over the regulation of their affairs officially, undertaking to carry 
out those rules which so far public opinion had formed and had 
accepted? To her relief, Carey Thomas listened with interest and 
sympathy. It was quite true that young women of their age were 
perfectly capable of ensuring proper behavior, she agreed; they 
would have her complete confidence if they set up some system of 
ordering and regulating their own affairs. 

During the summer Susan Walker sent a circular letter to all 
of her class and to others, asking what they would think of assum- 
ing self-government at Bryn Mawr. They had always felt themselves 
capable and desirous of regulating their own conduct, she said, 
"and it would be extremely humiliating to admit that now, after 
six years' trial, we are forced to give up the attempt and content 
ourselves with being ruled by an outside power." Unless they acted 
at once, some other system of "rules, penalties and monitors watch- 
ing and reporting our actions 1 ' would come into force and remain. 
She had suggested to the Dean that they be given six months' trial, 
but Miss Thomas had replied at once that they could have all the 
time that they needed. If we should "undertake the rule of our 
affairs . . ." said Susan Walker's letter, "we must set to work at 
once with energy." 


They did. As soon as College opened in the autumn, discussion 
became rife. Susan Walker had found that, next to Miss Thomas's, 
the most enthusiastic and constructive response had come from 
Anne Emery (later Anne Allinson) of the Class of 1892, whose en- 
terprise and graphic vision were aware, at once, of just what sort 
of organization was needed to put real force into the plan. The 
idea spread and clarified as it moved from person to person, grow- 
ing up by means of those long, interesting discussions, sometimes 
inconclusive, sometimes startlingly significant, which are everywhere 
such vital factors in college life. Doubts were expressed and dif- 
ficulties foreseen; it was obvious that indifference and inertia might 
be the ruin of the plan after the first impetus was spent. General 
meetings were held for presenting the subject to the whole College 

"Will the President define what is meant by noise?" was a bitter 
question asked at one of them. Anne Emery, presiding, defined it 
quickly as "Noise is what disturbs other people." It was not, so 
it seemed when really examined, an inalienable right of students 
to make it in the midst of a busy community. There was already in 
existence an Undergraduate Association to represent the students 
as a whole, as the class organizations represented them in sections. 
At first it was thought that this body could take over the duties of 
self-government, but it was soon clear that the responsibilities were 
so large that a separate Board and a separate organization must 
assume them. 

The continued encouragement of Carey Thomas and the wis- 
dom of her advice gave them the confidence and spirit to go for- 
ward. In those days she had opportunity for far more individual 
consultation with the students, and often talk lasted very late in the 
little Deanery, with the session closed by her walking home with 
them across the campus to their halls, with talk continuing busily 
all the way. Details of the Bryn Mawr Students' Association for Self- 
Government were finally settled, providing for a President, an Ex- 
ecutive Board and, by later arrangement, an Advisory Board as 
well. These could deal with all smaller matters, and were to consult 
with the Dean and the President and to make recommendations to 
them whenever drastic action was needed. Action must be through 
the Administration, since there lay the legal responsibility in case 


there was recrimination or even legal action to protest the penalty. 
In January of 1892 the Charter of the new Association was made 
official by acceptance by the Administration and the Board of 

Somehow the new system managed to retain the advantages of 
that first pleasantly simple state of affairs when the students did 
directly regulate their own affairs. It appeared to come about very 
easily and naturally, yet in fact it was an immense step, the 
substitution of a democratic order for the old method of strict 
regulations which had so long been taken for granted as belonging 
to the rule of colleges. It was a democratic advance that was bound 
to come, but perhaps came into being more easily and proved 
itself as a working success more promptly in a new and small Col- 
lege for young women earnestly bound to make the most of what 
was a long-desired opportunity of education. 

There can be no doubt that the system of self-government lays, 
very heavy burdens of responsibility on the shoulders of very young 
people, who take their duties deeply to heart, yet who understand 
their fellows more fully than any older person could, and who real- 
ize intensively how devastating can be the occasional sentences of 
recommended suspension or expulsion. On the other hand it is ap- 
propriate that it is they who deal with the code of behavior which is 
a constantly changing one, since young minds and young judgment 
are ready to move forward when the time comes for change. Some 
of the early interdictions look unnecessary and even absurd to us. 

Not going off the campus after dark in parties of less than 
three was a rule stringently enforced, but an ill lighted and mea- 
gerly policed neighborhood made such a precaution eminently nec- 
essary. The receiving of men in a student's study called for various- 
degrees of chaperonage, depending on the degree of relationship, 
whether brother, cousin, father or great-uncle. The question of the 
serving of anything of alcoholic content fell into endless complica- 
tions, reaching finally the "Interpretation: Students may not drink 
wine together except in the single case of two roommates." Smoking 
was for long a rarely encountered offense, and automobiles and the 
comet tail of difficulties in their wake had not yet appeared. But a& 
late as 1912, during a presidential campaign, one student led an- 


other one made up as a donkey across the campus and aroused 
complaints because the donkey did not have a skirt. And in a some- 
what later day, an amateur flyer, in love with a freshman, showed 
his devotion by the rather singular device of circling Taylor Tower. 
With him, even, Self-Government had to deal. 

Academic matters and possible offenses concerning them were 
still the domain of the College Administration and the Faculty, 
and on one question arising on the borderland between the two 
Carey Thomas took a firm stand. A complete honor system, with 
examinations held without supervising proctors, she would not ac- 
cept. Such a thing would threaten the validity of the examinations, 
.she was certain, and would lower the standard of the College which 
she was so resolutely bound to protect. She was wise enough to 
agree to other changes as they came, although she did not always 
receive them happily and was sometimes sharply insistent on some 
recommendations of her own. James Rhoads had kept consistently 
aloof from direct connection with this whole matter of self-govern- 
ment; but we can well see his hand in the wisdom and tolerance 
of some of the terms of the charter and, in its wholehearted ac- 
ceptance, the hands also of those kindly men who sat upon the 
Board, fathers and grandfathers with faith in a young generation. 

The building plans had meanwhile gone steadily forward, and 
continued to do so. Joseph Taylor, so the Trustees knew, had 
planned the gymnasium, four dormitory buildings, the Academic 
Building and a science hall. Radnor followed Merion, with a less 
.austere architecture and a warmer color of stone. Those in whose 
hands lay not only the rightful conduct of the College, but also its 
permanent and ultimate beauty, were feeling for a new and endur- 
Ingly satisfactory style with which to complete the plan. Very early 
the Trustees had adopted the idea of a quadrangle of buildings 
with Taylor in the center. They felt that they could go on with 
free minds, for, with the increase in value of some of the properties 
left by Dr. Taylor and the ending of some annuities which were 
charges on his estate, the original endowment amounted again to a 
million dollars. 

With the entrance of Walter Cope on the scene, a final and 
historic change came about. He was a young architect then, a 
Friend, relative of Francis Cope on the first Board, and of Julia 


Cope in the first class. His firm, Cope and Stewardson, were to 
carry the College through a great period of building; they were to 
evolve a new adaptation of an old order, at first spoken of as 
Jacobean Gothic but later discussed in architectural circles as Col- 
legiate Gothic. It was to alter the skyline of Bryn Mawr, Prince- 
ton, the University of Pennsylvania, Washington University in St. 
Louis, and many similar institutions. Radnor was Cope's first rather 
cautious experiment; later, with Denbigh, he achieved such bold 
success as attracted attention everywhere. Carey Thomas and Fran- 
cis King worked long over the interior plans. She had been obliged 
to abandon her conviction that every student should have a bed- 
room and a study; each building, as it proved, could contain only 
a very few such suites. Francis King was drawing to the end of his 
days; this was his last work for the College. Out of his experience 
in the building of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, he had evolved a 
more economical scheme for Denbigh, when the first cost seemed 
prohibitive. The work went very slowly. 

"The Hall creeps up," James Rhoads wrote wearily to Carey 
Thomas in July of 1890, but made no further comment. It was 
ready for occupancy in January of 1891; Francis King never saw it 
complete. The cost was $20,000 more than Radnor, and left the 
Trustees with some rather serious food for thought. 

But scarcely were the bills paid and the students settled before 
James Rhoads brought up the proposal for a science building. This 
too was an undertaking to which Joseph Taylor's wish had given 
authority. At least a third of the necessary cost had been raised by 
subscription, thanks to the efforts of all concerned, including Carey 
Thomas. She herself was fresh from a triumph of boldness and 
strategy in helping secure the funds needed for getting the Johns 
Hopkins Medical School under way after long delay. The great gift 
was from Mary Garrett, Carey Thomas's lifelong friend, and was, 
offered on condition that women should be admitted there as freely 
as men, and that the medical instruction should be fully at the 
graduate level. 

"Thee never did a better week's work in thy life . . ." Fran- 
cis King wrote to Carey Thomas. "The work must be pushed to a 
finish. I pray it may be done in my day and I may see the opening 
day of the Medical School." His wish was not fully granted, al- 


though he saw the Medical School assured at the very end of his 
laborious and generous life. 

Dalton Hall was so named because it was considered that the 
Welsh county names should be reserved for the dormitories. Be- 
sides, as David Scull pointed out practically, Pembroke and Mon- 
mouth were the only two left now which were not extremely dif- 
ficult of pronunciation and spelling, with perhaps Cardigan as a 
possible but scarcely appropriate choice. Since James Rhoads's spe- 
cial interest was in advancing the sciences in the College, the proj- 
ect of building a hall to house the laboratories, classrooms and col- 
lections was very close to his heart. The progress was again slow, 
and at the opening of the academic year the physics laboratory had 
to be set up in the laundry, and its classroom in the basement of 
Merion "under the drawing room." The biological specimens had 
to remain in "the small room in the cellar of Taylor which has 
been emptied of coal" Professor Francis Osborne, of the Engineer- 
ing Department at Cornell, had made the plans with the collabora- 
tion of Cope and Stewardson as to the outer design. Dalton was 
opened with ceremonies in March of 1893. The laboratories and 
classrooms were withdrawn from Taylor, where the library stretched 
its cramped elbows and moved into new space. There was already 
talk in the Trustees' meetings of another dormitory, so fast was the 
College growing. The new building would be called Pembroke. By 
the great efforts of James Rhoads and Carey Thomas the Trustees 
were persuaded to make it a double hall, with dining room and 
kitchen between, this to take the place of the central dining hall 
which had also been part of Joseph Taylor's scheme. It was Cope 
and Stewardson's most ambitious design; it was James Rhoads's last 
measure. The Trustees hesitated, but he and Carey Thomas urged 
them forward. 

When both Pembroke East and the academic year were well 
under way, President Rhoads gave notice to the Trustees that he 
wished to resign. He was sixty-five years old; he was ailing and 
weary. Within himself he probably realized that the College might 
some day be left suddenly without a head. Moreover, he was quite 
convinced that Carey Thomas, as he now knew her, with her great 
possibilities, her sometimes overhasty decisions, her wide ambition 
for the College which matched his vision of what it could be with 


all this he was sure that she was the proper person to carry on his 
work. But the Trustees were not ready to agree with him. They 
asked him to reconsider, and he, seeing that his cherished plan for a 
successor could not be easily attained, consented to remain through 
the next academic year. 

It was a year fraught with discussion and misgiving on the part 
of some of the Trustees, with clear-sighted determination on the 
part of others. Carey Thomas had won the admiration of all of 
them, but, they questioned, what would she be without James 
Rhoads to steady her with advice, without Francis King for whose 
wisdom she had such great regard, ultimately without her father and 
her uncle, who were growing old? What they feared most was not 
the fact that her ambitions for the College might well ride rough- 
shod over their caution, but that she might ignore more and more 
the terms of Joseph Taylor's will concerning the Quakerism of the 
College. Although she was a birthright member of the Society of 
Friends, and although they knew her to have been brought up in 
stanch Christian principles, her full observance of Quaker ideas 
was much to be doubted. 

Into this perplexing situation was suddenly injected a new 
and surprising element. Carey Thomas's great friend in Baltimore 
was Mary Garrett with whom, as has been said, she had shared the 
campaign for raising funds to establish the Johns Hopkins Medical 
School. Mary Garrett's father, former President of the Baltimore & 
Ohio Railroad the source in turn of the Johns Hopkins millions 
had left his daughter well off and had further endowed her with a 
shrewd and practical business sense which she had learned how to 
employ in her generous philanthropic purposes. She now wrote to 
the Trustees, in March of 1893, stating the matter with careful tact, 
that she had for some time intended to support Bryn Mawr College 
with an annual contribution of $10,000, but, since her interest in the 
College lay largely in her friend's connection with it, the contribu- 
tion would be contingent on Carey Thomas's being offered the 
Presidency. She added that she was writing "without consultation 
with Miss Thomas." 

The effect of the letter was great, but not just what was to be 
expected. The Trustees had reason to think that if they had some 
dread of being dominated by a strong-willed young woman, might 


they not find her even more high-handed if she had this financial 
support to back her proposals? They hesitated again, and Carey 
Thomas found it more and more difficult to maintain the patience 
and lack of protest which her supporters on the Board so earnestly 

James Carey Thomas had a curious and admirable faculty for 
putting his duty and his loyalty to the College in a conscientiously 
different category from his family affection. His wise counsel to 
his daughter could often be a mixture of his knowing her so inti- 
mately and his also knowing the situation under discussion through 
his being a Trustee. He and James Rhoads had often discussed 
together her qualifications for the Presidency, these two who knew 
her best, and they had recognized that here were not only gifts of 
an uncommon sort, but that hers was real genius for the special 
work that lay so plainly before her, a fact which was to be quite 
clear to the world in time. 

Led, therefore, by his clear sense of justice and of what was 
truly advisable for the College, James Thomas put aside any false 
hesitation, knew that among such close and honest friends he would 
not be misunderstood, and sent a circular letter to the Trustees 
stating the reasons why he intended to vote for his daughter. Her 
previous accomplishments, her proved ability in the selection of 
candidates, and for administration, her successful contact with the 
students, all gave her the right to be favorably considered for the 
Presidency. His parting, Parthian shot was the statement, "If she 
were a man you would appoint her without hesitation." The Trus- 
tees were honest-minded enough to realize that blunt truth, and in 
August of 1894 they elected her by a majority of one. Immediately 
after, one of the oldest members of -the Board resigned. It was 
probably not so much in protest, but in sheer inability to face the 
rugged road over which she might be about to take them. The 
others looked upon the prospect, first with bare equanimity, and 
finally with abundant satisfaction. 

It is typical of James Rhoads that he readily continued as a 
member of the Faculty under the jurisdiction of someone who had 
been his subordinate. He was made President Emeritus and Profes- 
,sor of Ethics; he was still available to the students; he was still 
happy in his work. On January 2nd of 1895 he walked one day, 


after a heavy snowstorm, the quarter-mile from his house to the 
Bryn Mawr Station to take a train for town. Walking in the snow 
is known to be a strain on the heart, but even he who was a doctor 
had no special reason to feel that it was immediately dangerous 
for him. He sat down on a bench inside the station to wait for the 
train. The stationmaster, an old friend, as was anyone who had 
association with him, noted his presence through his window. But 
the train came in and went out again, and James Rhoads sat on in 
his place. The man came out to investigate and found that Dr. 
Rhoads was dead. 

His life had ended within a few days of its being fifteen years 
since the death of Joseph Taylor. Those fifteen years had been whole- 
heartedly devoted to furthering that idea which Joseph Taylor had 
seen so clearly and which James Rhoads had seen more clearly still 
and in larger measure. During his term in office he had done more 
than open the College and set its machinery in full motion. Bryn 
Mawr had become an entity in itself, a combining of the human 
elements that entered into its being, Trustees, Administration, Fac- 
ulty, undergraduate and graduate students. It could be guided and 
influenced and molded by individual hands, but in itself it had now 
a life and being of its own. 


Martha Carey Thomas 

PRESIDENT 1894-1922 

A.B. Cornell University, 1877 
Ph.D. University of Zurich, 1882 

Chapter VI 


When Carey Thomas she always signed her official letters as 
M. Carey Thomas entered upon the Presidency of Bryn Mawr 
in the autumn of 1894, she and James Rhoads must have each 
drawn a long breath of respective relief. His was not only because 
he had laid down a heavy burden of labor, and hers was not merely 
for the fulfillment of an ambition now more than ten years old. 
There was something more. Between them, and in the Quaker way 
without open contention, they had won a significant victory, and 
had passed a milestone which was perhaps one of the most impor- 
tant in the progress of the College. Years later, Carey Thomas, in a 
President's Report, declared that at that meeting of November 17, 
1893, the College became something quite other than it had been at 
the beginning, or what a number of the Trustees thought it was to 
be, and had entered on the way of its true usefulness. 

When the Board realized that a change of administration was 
actually before them, when James Rhoads's closest friends knew 
truly that he had given all that he had to Bryn Mawr, there was an 
instinctive gathering together of forces, a laying down of lines of 
demarcation, a clarifying of things in the face of a new order. In 
November of 1893 there had been a series of meetings which were 
not solely for the discussion of who the new President should be. 
The year before, the Trustees could not make a choice and were 
obliged to beg President Rhoads to remain in his place for a time 
longer "for the sake of harmony/' The meetings now were to re- 
study Joseph Taylor's will in great detail and to settle, once for all 


as they hoped, what this instrument of his wishes really intended. 
So complicated do questions become which have to do both with 
financial and with religious matters. 

It was disclosed by the Treasurer, to everyone's consternation, 
that with the bills paid for Pembroke Hall, the residue of the 
estate of Dr. Taylor had shrunk to $350,000, instead of the original 
million which had seemed enough for anything. The buildings were 
a magnificent possession, already beginning to call public atten- 
tion to the new College, but the funds for operating looked appall- 
ingly small. A resolution was offered that it be "the fixed determi- 
nation of the Trustees that the growth of the College should cease 
with the completion of Pembroke Hall for residents." Certain mem- 
bers of the Board offered the opinion that Dr. Taylor had intended 
an establishment on the level of Westtown, the coeducational 
Quaker boarding school of very just renown, but nowhere near to 
the caliber of a college; some thought he meant it to be nearer the 
pattern of Haverford, possibly not aspiring to be so good. 

Hard as it was for Carey Thomas to hear such words, it was 
necessary that they be spoken, that this view of the College as a 
small Quaker seminary should be aired and tested. It was doubtless 
in the minds of certain Trustees, who had seen no other experiment 
tried, that this represented the utmost that was practical in Quaker 
education for women. But the weight of Dr. Rhoads's careful wis- 
dom brought them to a wider view; the phrase "fixed determina- 
tion" was softened to "the opinion" and finally voted down al- 
together, with the resolution standing that no further buildings and 
therefore no further growth should be authorized unless funds to 
support them were obtained from outside sources. Notice was thus 
being given to the new President, whoever he or she might be, that 
there were certain limits within which future operations were to be 
contained. It was firmly voted that all gifts should be declined 
which were offered "upon terms inconsistent with the purpose of 
the Founder" and gifts "of a temporary nature" were to be used 
only for temporary, and not for fundamental, expenses. This, very 
plainly, was a safeguard against any unwarranted use of the Mary 
Garrett contribution which was based on the contingency of Carey 
Thomas's being President. Practically, therefore, the College would 
be allowed to grow materially, as these two of the Administration 


so greatly hoped it would. But were there to be rigid limits imposed 
in other ways? 

Another side of the problem of the will was brought forward 
as the Trustees were bidden to examine that clause which declared 
the Founder's wish that it should be the College's "endeavor to 
instill into the minds and hearts of the students, the doctrines of the 
New Testament as accepted by Friends and taught by Fox, Penn 
. . . and Braithwaite, and which I believe to be the same in sub- 
stance as taught by early Christians/* There was cause for deep and 
troubled discussion here. Must all the teachers be of Quaker faith? 
Was it meant that they should be required to instill such doctrine 
directly and continuously along with their other teaching? Here 
again James Rhoads's sensible liberalism came to the rescue. "Mem- 
bers of the [Orthodox] Society of Friends cannot be found in 
sufficient numbers to equip a college of the standing required by 
Dr. Taylor," he offered as his opinion, and was joined by various 
others in the belief that this stipulation "cannot be complied with 

Thus Bryn Mawr had come early to a point of difficulty which 
so many of the older colleges and universities have been obliged 
to face since. As has been noted by students of educational history, 
all such institutions "tend to outgrow their denominationalism." 
While each college struggles with the question of responsibility to 
the original founders, and settles the matter in its own way, it is 
plain that the whole problem is actually an inevitable one. True 
education, with its wider contacts, moves steadily away from the 
sectarian belief which is so often the inspiration which has led to a 
college's foundation. It was for this reason that these Quaker 
gentlemen had arrived so soon at the facing of this question with 
which each was now striving according to his own conscience. It 
was agreed among them that "the professors who were not Friends 
. . . would intuitively recoil from the obligation to teach denomi- 
national truths to classes of students, and the students . . . would 
sometimes resent such attempts at proselytism." But there was also 
a resolution that in the appointing of professors, preference be 
given to candidates who were Friends or in sympathy with the 
beliefs of Friends "even if other applicants are somewhat superior 
in scholarship." Various suggestions followed as to some changes in 


courses, to include more biblical study and to emphasize the Quaker 
quality of the Founder's plan. 

With these matters settled and clarified, the Board of Trustees 
of Bryn Mawr College proceeded to the election which duly pro- 
nounced their choice to fall upon Martha Carey Thomas. And, 
without there being any very general awareness of it, on that same 
day the College passed into its new phase, still carrying forward 
this recurrent question of religious matters, but freed forever from 
the narrowing conception of a small Quaker seminary which was 
limited by the support of a single bequest and the literal interpre- 
tation of a single document. 

To all those students and members of the Faculty who were 
associated with Carey Thomas during the nearly forty years of her 
connection with Bryn Mawr, she is such an unforgettable personality 
that it is difficult to remember that there are some people who 
need to be told about her. The stocky, vigorous figure, the heavy 
coil of reddish hair, the high-colored handsomeness, the modula- 
tions of a voice which always put emphasis on the important word, 
all these can never pass or grow dim in anyone's recollection. It is 
sufficient to say of her earlier life that she was born in 1857 ^ e ldest 
daughter in the family of James Carey Thomas and Mary Whitall 
Thomas, members of the Quaker community of Baltimore which 
was so closely affiliated with that of Philadelphia. Having very early 
developed a determined interest in higher education, she persuaded 
her family to send her, first, to the Rowland Institute near Ithaca, 
New York. Later, and after some hesitation on the part of her 
father, she got permission to go on to Cornell, where she did 
enough work for her A.B. degree in two years. But this did not 
suffice. In pursuit of a higher degree she applied first to Johns 
Hopkins, where she was refused admission as a regular graduate 
student, and then went abroad to continue her quest in Germany 
and Switzerland. 

One of the most carefully cherished among the letters she kept 
is the one marked in her own writing, "Letter from Gottingen 
refusing me my Ph.D. degree. May 1882." She had already studied 
three years at Leipzig, and only after she had found that no woman 
could take a degree there had she applied to Gottingen. Being 
refused again, but with her thesis nearly finished, she betook herself 


to Switzerland and Zurich where, in November of 1882, she took 
her written and oral examinations and was granted a Ph.D. degree, 
summa cum laude, a completely unheard-of achievement for a 
woman. Her subject was English and German philology, which had 
at that time two schools of thought and instruction, into the more 
modern of which she was at once drawn. She seemed somewhat 
bewildered by her success, but felt that the best of it was that it was 
a victory for women's education. 

The letter which she wrote to Dr. Rhoads so soon after shows 
that, in the fullness of her inexperience, she believed that an 
academic degree was sufficient qualification for the Presidency of 
Bryn Mawr, and that practice in administrative matters was not 
necessary. And now, when she finally came into the office which she 
knew that she could fill effectually, ten years of training under wise 
and affectionate guidance had greatly enhanced her fitness for her 
new position. They had been also ten years of teaching and of close 
and happy relations with the students over whose affairs she pre- 
sided as Dean. When she undertook the Presidency of Bryn Mawr 
she was thirty-six, and already, for most of a year, had carried the 
responsibilities of the College during James Rhoads's illness in his 
last months of office. One can conjecture a little what plans were in 
her mind, when authority was actually in her hands, some of the 
projects determinedly complete, some seen only as desirable goals 
toward which the way was far from plain, some merely nebulous 
ideas which were to grow later into bold experiments. 

The brilliance of her mind was like that of very few others. All 
her life she was to see the end of an undertaking far more vividly 
than its intermediate means of accomplishment. Few people have 
ever been capable of becoming so instantly aware of the assured 
rightness of a final intention, once she had conceived it. She had 
not simply impatience, but total disregard for obstacles which stood 
in her way. Ways and means were for her minor matters: with her 
purpose immovably fixed she would review rapidly and often un- 
reasonably one device after another which might bring the desired 
end, sometimes clutching at the veriest straws if they seemed to 
drift in the direction of fulfillment. 

Of natural patience she had scarcely any, but o shrewd good 
sense she had a generous amount. When she knew it was absolutely 


necessary to wait, she could do so, but when the moment for action 
came, act she did with almost terrifying promptness. The boldness 
of her conceptions was often the despair of the Trustees; the bril- 
liant foresight and ultimate success of them were their pride. Some 
of those men who were charged with what actually was the final 
responsibility of the College were alarmed or outraged or dismayed 
by her proposals; some fell by the wayside. But there was always a 
group of them who saw her greatness and were willing to move 
mountains to make it possible to attain her ends. 

What lay at the heart of her real strength was the fact that, 
while she had such unbounded ambition for the College, for women's 
education in general and in itself, for the position of women in the 
modern world, she was completely free from self-seeking, from any 
sense or desire of personal aggrandizement. Humility she did not 
have, for it was not by its means that she could bring her aims 
about; but personal vanity she did not have either, or jealousy for 
her position and extending fame, unless to attack them was to 
attack the good name of Bryn Mawr. 

It has been said in criticism of her that she put scholarship 
behind her and turned completely to material matters as time and 
the preoccupation of her office went forward. She pursued no re- 
search in her chosen field, but what person overwhelmed with ad- 
ministrative duties can have much hope of doing so? She was still 
head of the English Department for some years, with her active 
connection with it growing more and more nominal as she became 
engulfed in other matters. Her greatest gift to the world of scholar- 
ship was something different. She had, and never lost, a glowing 
sense of the beauty, the mystery and the splendor of the intellec- 
tual life, and that sense she had the singular power of conveying to 
others. Her many formal addresses reflected it, for she was an able 
speaker, always sound in the knowledge of her subject, sometimes 
startling though never spectacular, certainly never dull. The power 
of her own enthusiasm was too great for that. But it was her brief 
and incisive talks in daily morning chapel which held, to the full, 
her remarkable qualities. She could range at random over every 
phase of the world about her which she found so interesting: sculp- 
ture, the daily bath, "breeding for intelligence/' travel with a 
description of the bells of Amalfi all ringing on the day of her ar- 


rival there because her traveling companion, Helen Taft, was 
daughter of a former head of a sovereign State. The fine warmth of 
her voice gave special beauty and dignity to the Bible readings, but 
her talks were uniformly of the intellectual, not the spiritual, life. 
Yet for her the intellectual life was an exalted end to be pursued 
with all the strength that the spirit possessed. 

She could speak to the freshmen on the morning after Lantern 
Night and make them see Siegfried forging the sword. On another 
morning, which could well have been fraught with despair, she 
could gesture toward the window and beyond it to the ruins of 
Denbigh, burned to the walls the night before; she could speak of 
its greater upbuilding in such terms that her audience cheered 
her. Once when illustrating some point on liberal thinking which 
she wished to make clear she spoke quite casually of her dreadful 
accident when she was a child, when her skirts caught fire and she 
was burned almost to the point of death, leaving her the lameness 
which always seemed the most insignificant detail of her energetic 
life. What had impressed her most, she said, was hearing some 
members of her parents' circle of friends inquiring of her mother, 
"Mary, what sin can thee or James have committed that thee should 
be visited by this misfortune to thy child?" Small as she was, 
everything within her rose in revolt, in defense of her parents, 
against such a thought. This was the narrowness, not of a single 
sect, but that to which human nature anywhere can be subject. 
Yet one can see in that recoil some at least of her reasons for leav- 
ing behind her the strict letter of Quakerism, and seeking for herself 
and for others a wider life, just as in their own way Joseph Taylor 
had done, and James Rhoads. It is necessary thus to attempt to 
understand what she was, to make sure of doing justice to what 
she did. It was Rufus Jones, who had worked with her on the 
Board of Trustees for thirty years, who offered her tribute after 
she was gone by speaking of her in the perfect phrase, "She had a 
passion for excellence." * 

Through all the years of her Presidency she had a central and 
often repeated statement of intention "to raise the standard of the 
College." It was not enough to set the pattern and hold it; there 
must be steady advance along every line, through the oral language 
examinations, through the "merit law" by which a student must 


maintain a certain level of good work, through the constant sur- 
vey of the quality of teaching. 

All of these and other efforts were continuously put forward 
for the same purpose, although now and again one of them had to 
be abandoned. Great as was her enthusiasm for Self-Government, 
she never withdrew her refusal to allow a full honor system in 
examinations. Members of the Faculty and delegated proctors did 
oversee the examinations, but they always made a point of leaving 
the room at least once during the period, to show what was their 
own attitude in the matter. For a certain harrowed interval, and 
in order to save correspondence, it was the usage to post all the 
returns from examinations and the marks for courses on a bulletin 
board outside the Recording Secretary's office. Miss Thomas, issu- 
ing from her door and studying the returns, made the immediate 
announcement that the marks were too high. "A certain proportion 
in every course should fail," she insisted, and issued instructions to 
the professors to that effect. But they were never carried out. To 
admit good students to the College, who did their work earnestly, 
and then to give them failing marks to preserve a numerical pro- 
portion was, in the eyes of the Faculty, too much of an injustice. 

In the matter of "the Orals," the formal language examina- 
tions, she remained firm and for a long time deaf to the con- 
tinued petitions of the students to have them altered. The plea to 
abolish them entirely was more because the manner of them was so 
severe, than because they were not appreciated as adding to the 
value of the College degree. To be ushered, ceremoniously dressed 
in cap and gown, into the President's office and in her presence and 
that of two other members of the Faculty to translate a solid page 
of French or German text in so short a time that there was not 
even opportunity to glance through it first, such was an ordeal in- 
deed. Carey Thomas thought that young women of the age of col- 
lege seniors should have developed sufficient poise to meet such a 
test of steadiness of spirit; she doubtless thought of the manner of 
giving examinations abroad and wanted her own students to match 
these others in prowess. But in such institutions it was not the 
head of the college or the university who conducted the examina- 
tions. "I do not think you realize just how much your presence 
means to them," one professor, Dr. Gonzales Lodge, wrote to her in 


protest as early as 1898. "You are the head of the College and 
represent in their eyes all the dignity and augustness of what the 
College stands for. . . . The fright and nervousness which is usually 
attributed to the examinations themselves is in large measure 
due to the fact that they must exhibit themselves before the Presi- 
dent > with all that that means. The situation," he was bold enough 
to insist, "would be robbed of most of its terrors by the absence of 
the one before whom they feel the most shame in exposing their 
defects." But in spite of this and many other protests, it was years 
before this special form of the language examinations was aban- 

Since it was now settled that Bryn Mawr was to be a larger 
college than the first plans had indicated, Carey Thomas went about 
her way carefully and consistently, in those early years, to prepare 
for its wider functioning, as she and Dr. Rhoads had always looked 
forward to its doing. Neither he nor she had ever considered a 
college of very large numbers; but it was clear and reasonable 
that, as years advanced and the general college population of the 
country increased, and as the practice of sending daughters as well 
as sons to college widened, an institution like Bryn Mawr, even in 
its rather special field, must increase also to keep in step with 
natural progress. 

In material ways, and with excellent administrative method, 
she regulated the machinery of everyday running, setting up work- 
shops and a corps of men for repairs, employing engineers for the 
heating system instead of depending on the casual and often dis- 
astrous attentions of outside service men. Fortified by the income 
which Miss Garrett was supplying, she could bring about changes 
which, earlier, the necessity of almost pitiful economies firmly for- 
bade. Precautions and regulations to prevent fire hazards were in- 
troduced, although the gas and the students' oil lamps were still a 
source of danger at which one shudders now. It was an overturned 
"student lamp" which burned Denbigh down on that cold snowy 
night in 1902, bringing out the band of rescuers from Haverford 
College, and also drawing emphatic attention to the fact that Bryn 
Mawr needed a less hazardous system of heating and lighting. 

Cooperation between the Trustees and the new President led 
to large achievements, not unattended by argument. Immediately 


after Dr. Rhoads's death, Carey Thomas raised the question of her 
being made a Trustee, since, as she said, this was necessary to 
support her position in the College and in representing it before 
the world. Because James Rhoads was already a Trustee when he 
was elected to the Presidency, this matter had never before been an 
issue. She showed them a paper, prepared in President Rhoads's time, 
making clear that Bryn Mawr was behind the other colleges where, 
for the most part, the President was also a member of the govern- 
ing body. But she met with firm resistance. Her uncle, James 
Whitall, had died in 1896 and her father, James Carey Thomas, in 
1897, so that two of her stanch supporters were gone. Her cousin 
David Scull was still there, but in this matter even he did not side 
with her. Year by year she brought the matter up and always was 
refused, until finally, as will be seen, she had a clinching argument, 
and they were obliged to give in. 

As the turn of the century approached, the College was growing 
vigorously in all directions. Taylor Hall was definitely outgrown, 
to an uncomfortable degree. More classrooms were needed, as the 
students increased in numbers, as the Faculty grew and the courses 
multiplied. There was greater need for administrative offices. 
Moreover, the books of the library were occupying far too great a 
proportion of the space and even with this did not have enough 
room. In 1893 there had been opportunity to buy the great classi- 
cal library collected by the German scholar Sauppe, and this was 
done by means of the generous and ever ready help of Mary 
Garrett. Space for it was meager, nor, as anyone could see, should 
books of their kind, unique and quite irreplaceable, be housed in 
anything but a fireproof building. Taylor, with its wooden stairs 
and profusion of golden oak, could not be so called. 

As the years went by, the need for a library building had 
become more and more evident. But there was the firm deterrent 
of the Trustees' resolution that no more buildings could be financed 
from Dr. Taylor's estate. John G. Johnson, the College legal ad- 
viser, had even pronounced that some former transactions were 
technically illegal, and there had to be a hasty redesignation of funds 
and real-estate titles connected with the acquisition of Dolgelly 
and Llanberis, the two dwelling houses across the road from Pem- 
broke which were housing the overflow of students. And as the 


College swung into a continuously lengthening stride, other needs 
became insistently evident. 

It was not for nothing that Carey Thomas had joined with 
Mary Garrett and other Baltimore women to help set in motion 
the Johns Hopkins Medical School. For Miss Thomas the word 
"beg" had no opprobrious meaning; when one wanted for a good 
cause one begged. At the annual meeting of the Trustees in De- 
cember of 1899, she asked for authorization to raise money from 
outside sources for a library building, and said that she must have a 
committee of the Trustees to give her help. They agreed; they 
organized; the assistance of the Alumnae was enlisted. "Large beg- 
ging committees" were formed among them and among interested 
parents and husbands, as Carey Thomas reported. The Pennsylvania 
Railroad gave passes to Alumnae traveling to beg. The students 
threw themselves into the campaign; there were helping hands every- 

The first success was revealed in the announcement that John 
D. Rockefeller had agreed to give $250,000 to build a dormitory 
and a new power plant for heating and lighting the College, if, in 
turn, Bryn Mawr could raise an equal amount for the Library. He 
was not yet the Rockefeller Foundation; he was a busy aging man 
who had no fault to find with Carey Thomas's somewhat masterful 
ways, and who was beginning to show the public that not only 
American business but American philanthropy could operate on a 
far larger scale than had previously been conceived. It has been 
said that President Thomas told him that the new hall would not be 
named for him but for a Welsh county, yet this did not deter him. 
She did not persevere in that resolution, and the catalogue of Welsh 
counties ended with Pembroke. Wide and concerted methods of 
raising money were still new; they were certainly new to Bryn 
Mawr, but resources and activities were marshaled and ordered and 
set on the move by Carey Thomas. 

The deadline was to be Commencement Day of 1902. As the 
date approached, Carey Thomas still had $60,000 to gather together. 
The project had become by now almost unendurably desirable as 
the plans of Walter Cope took shape in a block of buildings for 
the dormitory which were in such beautiful accord with Pembroke. 
The Library began to embody, in its own design, much of the 


stateliness of English university buildings which Carey Thomas had 
so long admired. There followed a whirlwind campaign of ac- 
celerated effort; the whole momentum of three years came to a 
climax in six weeks. President Thomas was the master solicitor and 
fund raiser in the midst of all her helpers; begging for her was a 
solemn duty. The academic year closed in excited triumph as the 
full sum was completed on the very eve of Commencement. 

Large as the results of this campaign were, the buildings were 
not the only things that came out of it. In 1902, during the last 
pressure of desperate fund raising, Carey Thomas pointed out to 
the Trustees once again how much her position would be strength- 
ened were she actually a Trustee herself. This time they saw the 
light at last, and made her a member of the Board. They had ac- 
cepted a great innovation in admitting a woman to their midst, but 
it was not the only step of the sort which was to confront them. 

In 1905 Dr. Taylor's will once more had to be meticulously ex- 
amined, especially that passage which specified that the Trustees of 
the College must be members of the Orthodox Society of Friends. 
It was evidently in the mind of the Founder, and in the thoughts of 
others, that a large proportion of the students would be Quakers. 
This had been true at first, but after the passage of years that con- 
dition no longer existed. The Society of Friends itself did not in- 
crease greatly in numbers, so that the average number of families 
who had daughters to send and who were able to send them re- 
mained more or less the same. Therefore, as the College grew, the 
increase came from outside, from among the World's people, as 
Quaker parlance put it. 

For some time it had troubled the President to see that there 
was no provision made for the rather differing interests of these 
young women; they were not being represented by elders who were 
completely familiar with the state and manner of life from which 
they came. It had troubled the Trustees also, but there seemed no 
method of making any change, for Joseph Taylor's will once more 
presented an impassable obstacle. President Thomas had made a 
number of suggestions as to how such an alteration could be made, 
once going so far as the idea of taking the Founder's will into court 
and having it broken. This her colleagues on the Board would not 
permit. John G. Johnson, one of Philadelphia's leading lawyers, 


whose interest and affection had been enlisted by Joseph Taylor, 
was Bryn Mawr's invaluable adviser. He was able, forthright, and 
not easily to be moved. He declared at last that the descendants of 
Joseph Taylor would have a right to come forward and claim the 
estate as theirs should the original legatees fail to fulfill the terms of 
the will. 

"I do not see my way to any suggestion which will reach the 
desired result," he wrote to Carey Thomas, to which she replied, "I 
am greatly disappointed in your opinion." But she would not give 

In the midst of her perplexity and her occasional hot impa- 
tience there now appeared a new possibility. The growing body of 
the Alumnae had brought together a steadily increasing group of 
able, thoughtful and successful women who had a strong interest in 
Bryn Mawr. The Alumnae Association had been formed at once, 
after the graduation of the first classes. Their first important 
achievement was the raising of sufficient money to have Miss 
Thomas sit to the foremost portrait painter of their day, John Singer 
Sargent. The result was successful beyond even reasonable expecta- 
tion. Sargent has been quoted as saying that it was his best portrait; 
it was for the first years so much in demand for loan exhibitions that 
the Trustees finally had to agree on refusal of any more such re- 
quests. Some persons who knew President Thomas at the height of 
her fame have taken exception to the likeness; but what really has 
been given us is the young Carey Thomas, the woman not yet fully 
tried, with her ideals and ambitions and her sympathy and friend- 
liness for the people around her still visible in a face which no one 
can call less than beautiful. The picture is a treasure for which the 
College owes a great debt to a group of enterprising and discerning 
young women, just setting out to do greater and greater things. 

During the period of raising money for the Library, the Alum- 
nae had shown of what great assistance they could be. In fact it 
was made plain that a new chapter opens in the history of a college 
when its graduates have achieved sufficient numbers to take active 
part in meeting its needs. And the Alumnae themselves, somewhat 
in the manner of Carey Thomas, sent to her the suggestion that they 
should be represented on the governing board of Bryn Mawr as 
a foundation for further usefulness. On the first hearing Carey 


Thomas resisted the idea; it was not what she had had in mind; it 
would make a larger body with possibly restrictive views; it would 
make more complicated the system into which she had fallen, of 
making her own decisions in a multitude of smaller matters and 
presenting them to the Board as accomplished and only wanting 
their official approval. But on more reflection she saw that here was 
the way out of the whole difficulty. She became an earnest advocate 
of the plan and renewed her efforts to find the method in which it 
could be put into action. 

It was John G. Johnson who, having given the matter deep 
thought, finally devised the means of solution. As has been said, 
Joseph Taylor had specified that the College should be administered 
by thirteen Trustees, but the laws of Pennsylvania declared that 
educational institutions were to be given into the hands of a "Board 
of Directors/' Therefore it had been necessary, as a nominal gesture, 
for the Trustees, once a year, to elect themselves Directors to meet 
the letter of the law. "There is nothing," John G. Johnson finally 
offered as his opinion, "to prevent their naming more Directors 
than their own number, nor for these Directors' becoming the 
agents of the Trustees in the management of the College/' 

Like all reasonable plans for which the need had arisen, this 
was simple enough and welcome on all sides. A committee of Alum- 
nae, not without some smothered excitement, for even in 1905 
Alumnae were most of them young, met in consultation with the 
Board of Trustees. "I wish to tell you how well I thought you pre- 
sented your case on Friday/' Carey Thomas wrote to Marion Reilly. 
. . . When you are interviewing Mr. Johnson do not allow your- 
selves to be turned aside. ... I am sure that you will gain more 
by asking for the thing you want and refusing to accept anything 

There was no question of refusal. The Trustees passed the nec- 
essary legislation in December of 1905, and asked the Alumnae to 
nominate two members, whom they would then proceed to elect. 
Anne Emery Allinson of the Class of 1892 and Elizabeth Kirkbride 
of 1896 were chosen. They attended their first meeting early in 
1906 "and were given a warm welcome/' The new arrangement had, 
in fact, satisfied everybody. To it was very soon added the arrange- 
ment for a Director-at-Large, Mary Garrett, who so richly deserved 


representation in her own right. The working of the new system 
went smoothly from the very first. At the high climax of Carey 
Thomas's administration at Bryn Mawr, the Alumnae on the Board 
were to be of invaluable assistance. And the mere legal fact of 
their presence was to help solve one more, and possibly the last, of 
those knotty questions which grew out of Joseph Taylor's will. But 
that was not until later. While these negotiations were going on, the 
building program had been proceeding, not steadily, it has to be 
said, for innumerable and unexpected were the interruptions and 
anxieties, but reaching a beautiful completion at last. 

Building, as everyone knows, is a difficult and complex matter, 
far beyond the point of gathering the funds, the plans, the materials 
and the personnel. Many times so every person's experience proves 
questions will present themselves which seem, at the moment, of 
life-and-death importance but which, after the smoke of argument 
has cleared away, dwindle to no significance at all. The Treasurer 
of the Board of Trustees, who had had difficulty in the past in see- 
ing eye to eye with Carey Thomas, mostly because of her rather lib- 
eral impulse for spending, at one time insisted that the Library 
building was misplaced and should be fifteen feet further from Tay- 
lor to give it true dignity of perspective. Does anyone ever notice 
now the difference of that fifteen feet, or does any eye, unless it be 
a professional one, observe that the front of the building aligns 
with the first right-angled projection of Pembroke West? Yet the wor- 
ried Treasurer stopped all activities at one time until the matter 
could be reconsidered, while letters and cables flew between Bryn 
Mawr and England, where Carey Thomas was spending the summer. 
David Scull's adept hand smoothed matters over, and the Treasurer 
fell into unconvinced silence. 

The use of teakwood for the staircase leading to the Reading 
Room had been voted down by the Board as too extravagant, but 
teakwood it turned out to be, beautiful and blond in its newness, 
although one of its vaunted charms was that with time it would grow 
richly dark. A breach with the whole Board threatened when it was 
discovered that President Thomas had ordered it without consulta- 

"I have a little book for keeping orders authorized by the 
Trustees," David Scull told her mildly, emphasizing the fact that this 


item was not in it. Carey Thomas made herself personally responsi- 
ble for that and for various other expenses, until she suddenly 
awoke to the fact that she had pledged every resource that she had, 
to fulfill her promises. Yet she felt that nothing was really too good 
for Bryn Mawr. 

The dormitory and the power plant cost more than was ex- 
pected, just as all buildings do. The Library lent them money until 
it seemed that work on that building must come to an end. Walter 
Cope, the architect who had given the College so much, died in the 
autumn of 1902; this was the last of his planning which he could 
see begin to take shape and in which he could lay some of the stones 
with his own hands, as he loved to do. But it was finally decided 
to finish the Library with a curtain wall bounding the cloisters, 
in place of the projected west wing for which there was not suf- 
ficient money. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., came to the handsome sup- 
port of his father's gift, and the dormitory opened in 1904, while 
the campus was suddenly illumined with electric light. The Library 
was ready for use in 1906. President Thomas, speaking from the 
platform of Taylor Chapel, declared that the opening of the Library, 
not only with its space and facilities for the use of books but with 
its offices where professors had proper means for consultation with 
students, would begin a new era of teaching at Bryn Mawr. It is 
worth while, even now, to stop for a moment in hurrying down a 
Library corridor and think how truly she was right. 

The Treasurer, Henry Tatnall, resigned after the building pro- 
gram was finished at last. He was succeeded by Asa Wing, who held 
that difficult office for a benign and indefatigable term which lasted 
twenty years. At the end of 1907 David Scull died, he who had 
taken part in the supervision of every building since the first stone 
was laid. No one who has not read his correspondence with Carey 
Thomas can ever conceive of the kindness, the wisdom and the gen- 
tle patience with which he carried forward the work shared with 
the spirited young cousin of whom he was so proud. In his last let- 
ter, written in illness, he spoke of how he longed for "a walk at 
Bryn Mawr on a fine October afternoon." 

A great proportion of Dr. Taylor's Trustees were gone, but the 
group remained a notable one. It had been joined, after the death 
of James Carey Thomas, by a young professor of philosophy at 


Haverford, that Rufus Jones of whom James Rhoads had prophesied 
large things. For more than fifty years he sat on the Board of Trus- 
tees of Bryn Mawr, a great leader in his own Society of Friends and 
in the larger world, but always with time to spare for Joseph Tay- 
lor's and James Rhoads's College. Next to her father, he was prob- 
ably the man who best understood Carey Thomas and gave her the 
most of the wisdom and caution that she needed. He was in turn 
the recipient of her deep regard, and those who knew her well were 
aware of how strong and deep her affections could be. Rufus 
Jones was once called by a neighboring clergyman, "A Quaker can- 
dle that shed a universal light." It would be good to think that the 
same words could be applied to the College which Carey Thomas 
and he and those others who believed in it were so earnestly at work 
In building. 

Chapter VII 


Building with stones and mortar was not the only means by which 
President Carey Thomas had planned to enlarge the scope of the 
College. As she looked about her, through the early years of the 
twentieth century, she saw the graduate idea, so notably advanced 
by Johns Hopkins University, spreading from one great institu- 
tion to another. So far she and Bryn Mawr were the only women's 
college organization which had attempted any such thing. Larger 
and older institutions were taking on the name and function of uni- 
versities; she had seen Harvard so transformed, and Yale and 
Princeton. To develop their ends fully, these older and larger col- 
leges had set up or extended their separate professional Schools of 
Divinity, of Science, of Engineering and of Medicine. Bryn Mawr 
could not hope to follow in their exact footsteps, but could she not 
do something in the direction of higher training for women in par- 
ticular fields where specialized training was so conspicuously 

In such a college as this, the making of those "teachers of a 
high order" called for more and more training and practice in the 
actual technique of teaching and in educational theory. The rise of 
the kindergarten and the later advent of the progressive idea in 
elementary and secondary schools opened a whole new field for ex- 
pert study. Graduates of Bryn Mawr were eminently well equipped 
to teach in the higher grades and in colleges, but the exact and rap- 
idly developing techniques for the teaching of the earlier grades 
called necessarily for a different preparation. Legal lines had been 
drawn so that, in the State of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, no one, 



no matter what her college degree, could be granted a certificate 
making her eligible for a position in the lower public schools without 
having a course in a teachers* college or normal school. Here, often, 
a background of general education was scarcely available. Of this 
President Carey Thomas had long been most amply aware. The 
answer seemed to be to develop a Department of Education 
wherein broad general study and practice under a trained eye 
would be supplemented by lectures and research on educational 
theory. Thus the newer methods of teaching young children would 
be tested and proved as well as being imparted. What stood in the 
way of such a new departure, if it was to be completely carried out, 
was lack of funds. 

None the less the opportunity arrived, as opportunity always 
does for persons like Carey Thomas. Toward the end of 1910, Mr. 
Samuel Thome declared his desire of making a gift in memory of 
his sister, Phebe Anna Thome, who had been so greatly interested 
in elementary education that the endowment must in some way re- 
late to the teaching of young children. After some conferences with 
the President, he designated the sum of 1150,000, which was to be 
held in trust by the Directors and Trustees of the College and be 
administered by them for the support of the Phebe Anna Thorne 
Model School as an adjunct to the Department of Education. The 
funds were to be used for endowment only and not for other pur- 
poses* Within this new department it would be possible now to try 
out the processes just emerging to enrich and extend children's edu- 
cation open-air classes, freedom from restricted curriculum, nat- 
ural expression of opinion and impulse, "direct" study of languages 
by using them immediately, graphic and objective instruction in 
other subjects instead of an approach to them through formal rec- 
itations. It was a system under which children could be free, happy 
and interested and, by the unhesitating testimony of all who par- 
took of it, under which children abundantly were. 

The basis of the whole plan rested on Miss Thomas's firm be- 
lief that in a completely adequate preparation for college, even so 
exacting a college as Bryn Mawr, the more solid subjects could be 
coordinated with the arts painting, music, dancing and drama. It 
may be that certain of the Quaker Trustees looked somewhat 
askance on a few of the items in this program, but the undertaking 


was so much Carey Thomas's own and so greatly her desire that 
they refrained from protest. It was her further idea that each of the 
school's graduating classes, restricted in number to fifteen, would 
enter the College "perfectly prepared" and would become a leaven- 
ing element in every freshman class. She was sure, moreover, that 
all this could be accomplished in a seven-year course, where the 
existing public and private schools customarily required eight. 

There arose, presently, on the lawns of Cartref and Dolgelly, 
opposite Pembroke Arch, a group of oddly shaped buildings with 
glass walls and roofs curved upward at the eaves. Miss Thomas had 
recently been on a vacation in Japan and was sure that the Jap- 
anese form of building, with its open structure and airy archi- 
tecture, was exactly suited to the new venture. Inside the two 
existing buildings there was much alteration, for they were no 
longer needed for students since the opening of Rockefeller in 1904. 
For these preparations funds were advanced by the Trustees from 
the resources of the College, although it was understood that they 
were to be ultimately returned. The same amount was contributed 
by Carey Thomas from her own means. It was not fully recog- 
nized that the Thome fund could not hope to repay construction 
costs and carry those of operation. Miss Thomas was, perhaps, as 
happy and enthusiastic over this venture as in any other she un- 
dertook. The School opened in 1913, with much interested atten- 
tion from educators everywhere. 

Except for some impractical details, it was a brilliantly con- 
trived scheme from the educational point of view, and should have 
worked well. It was worth much, so Carey Thomas thought, that the 
enrichment of life, which she felt to be one of education's greatest 
missions, could be demonstrated as beginning its accomplishment 
early as well as late. She could see that such a school must make its 
own way, and must win the approval both of children and of par- 
ents with children to be taught, quite as much as it would test the 
theories by which education was now being so rapidly advanced. 
She saw also that the School would not maintain itself if it were 
merely a testing and practice ground for student-teachers, and she 
had already discovered that the best of the Bryn Mawr instructors 
were willing, and what was more, were able, to give their under- 
standing and their time to the new venture. Her choice of a Direc- 


tor was especially fortunate. Mathilde Castro was a woman whose 
brilliant career was cut short by early death, but those who worked 
with her at Bryn Mawr have long testified that she was possessed of 
real genius. 

Many years before, Carey Thomas, the newly appointed Dean 
sent by James Rhoads to get advice from existing women's colleges, 
had been warned that preparatory departments, set up in con- 
nection with a college itself, could be a burden and a liability. If 
she remembered this warning she must have felt that now such dif- 
ficulties could be overcome and was determined that nothing 
should count in the face of the great prospects of the plan. Here 
was something in the making of teachers and of scholars of the 
future which needed to be done, and here was Bryn Mawr's op 
portunity to do It. 

Educationally the project was an immense success. The young 
pupils were happy, interested and enterprising, as well as amply 
taught. It did not invariably get them into college without some 
disappointments, for young minds differ and the same system can- 
not have the same results for all. Nor did all its graduates elect to 
enter Bryn Mawr as Carey Thomas so confidently expected. But the 
School stood unquestionably and successfully in the forefront of ed- 
ucational experiment. Much of its theory was based on the ideas 
of John Dewey and his work in Chicago, but no stone was left un- 
turned for discovering whether this were all. Teachers were subsi- 
dized to go abroad to study new methods in Italy, Switzerland 
and Germany; they saw the Montessori schools in action; they 
brought back the practice of eurhythmies, the combination of 
music, rhythmic movement and muscular development which 
has become the basis of training for the modern ballet. The open- 
air feature, with its Eskimo suits, boots and mittens, with the naps 
and nourishing lunches, was found to work well in keeping off colds 
and resisting epidemics. And the children loved it. 

Methods found to be ineffective or impractical were given up, 
and new ones introduced as they proved themselves of value. In 
combination with the Psychology Department, the Education De- 
partment set up a system of mental testing for classifying the chil- 
dren, a method which came to warrant the greater and greater re- 
liance placed upon it. It was introduced into the public schools, 

Joseph Wright Taylor, M.D. 
Founder of Brvn Mawr College 

James E. Rhoads, M.D. First 
President of Bryn Mawr Col- 
lege, 1885-1894 

M. Carey Thomas, Second President of Bryn Mawr College, 1894-1922 
(From the portrait by John Singer Sargent) 


with the College offering an Educational Counselling Service which 
was found to be of great value. In this field there first came 
into notice a brilliant young graduate student in psychology, who 
added to her other abilities a delightful gift with children. To see 
Katharine McBride surrounded by a group of children of all sizes 
and kinds, all chattering and interested and quite at their ease 
as they lined up for a series of tests, is to remember a picture which 
not even long acquaintance with her as a College President can 

Successful as the School was in its real purpose, it is unfortu- 
nately necessary to record that on the financial side it did not, and 
could not, prosper. When it opened in 1913 it was already top- 
heavy with debt, and in its first year showed expenses far greater 
than had been foreseen. Year by year it went forward, needing 
more teachers as it extended its scope, needing more buildings* 
piling up greater and greater deficits. These debts Carey Thomas 
kept underwriting, out of her own means, so great was her enthu* 
siasm and her confidence in the School. By 1921, however, when 
she was on the eve of retirement, she realized how deeply the School 
was involving her, and reluctantly admitted that she could no 
longer support it. 

So fully had it come, by this time, to be approved by the 
parents who sent their children there, that they combined to form 
the Phebe Anna Thorne School Association, which issued bonds 
to cover the indebtedness and to ensure its being able to continue. 
For nearly ten years more it went on its troubled and successful 
way, always handicapped by narrowness of means, by the necessity 
of painfully small salaries to teachers, by lack of equipment and the 
other resources which once had seemed so delightfully within 
reach. Marion Park, as the new President in 1922, took a very 
great interest in it, but there was no denying the fact that its fi- 
nances presented a grave problem. The income from the endow* 
ment came to be barely equal to the interest on the debts, while the 
returns from tuition were frankly too small to override the constant 
increase in the expenses. In 1930 the Directors, realizing that the 
situation was practically an impossible one, voted that the School 
should be closed, and that the endowment must lie fallow until th$ 
interest from it should finally pay off the accumulated debt. 


It was a school ahead of its time and so came to material and 
temporary grief. In much later years, when progressive ideas in ed- 
ucation have been sounded out and have settled to a more stable 
and predictable method, the conducting of such a venture becomes 
a different matter. Practice instruction in an eminent school is now 
clearly so valuable that the matter of salaries Is not so vital as once 
it was. Parents realize more fully that, while the best is none too 
good for their children, the best demands its own costs. When time 
had caught up with it, when the endowment, under the husbanding 
of the Directors, had at last overcome the burden of debt, the school 
was reopened, under another President who had worked in it earlier 
and had not forgotten it. But its later status is part of a later 

Undeterred by what must have been a mounting anxiety over 
the financial affairs of the Phebe Anna Thorne School, President 
Thomas felt sufficiently satisfied with it and with the accomplish- 
ment of the new graduate Department of Education to set about 
another venture. Two years after the Phebe Anna Thorne Founda- 
tion had been set to work, she announced to the Directors in Feb- 
ruary, 1915, that the time had come to offer to Bryn Mawr's grad- 
uates and those of other colleges the opportunity for direct training 
in a new profession, one fully open to women, that of social service, 
taken in its broadest meaning. 

To all outward seeming the affairs of the main body of the 
College were moving well. There was as yet no overcrowding in the 
dormitories; the student body renewed itself every year both in sat- 
isfactory numbers and in quality; the full number of fellowships 
were available in the Graduate School; there was a sufficient and 
able Faculty. Carey Thomas could look beyond the actual process 
of educating women to the further question of what chance they 
had to make use of that education. The world of commerce and 
even the world of scholarship were, so far, visibly reluctant to ac- 
cept women on an equal basis with men and, so Miss Thomas in- 
sisted, countless positions which should be filled by women were de- 
nied to them from pure reactionary prejudice. It was part of her 
great work as an educator that she pursued so vehemently this 
matter of fairness to women in their appropriate fields. It was, she 


was convinced, a basic element in the whole subject o women's 

She observed very shrewdly what was the best point of attack. 
As has been said, when she first began her own educational career 
there had been two questions: Had women the right to insist on 
entrance to existing men's colleges? and, Were women capable of 
making the most of such education if it were available to them? 
Outside of the campaign to finance the Johns Hopkins Medical 
School provided that it would admit women, she had not taken 
much part in this first controversy and had concentrated herself 
upon showing what women could do with full opportunity for 
higher education. It was to further this same purpose that she 
chose those professions which it was logical for women to fill, the 
old one of teaching and the new one of social service, undertaking 
to offer able candidates in both fields. The Model School had been 
imperfectly financed, although the real truth of the inadequacy was 
not yet fully apparent. For this new venture the College was far 
better equipped. 

There had graduated from Bryn Mawr in the Class of 1907 a 
student of whom only a rather limited circle of friends and teachers 
had real knowledge and understanding. Carola Woerishoffer, to 
those who knew her, was someone of extraordinary force of char- 
acter, a nonconformist by temperament, moved, however, by a stir- 
ring sense of reasonable justice and an eager student in the fields of 
sociology and industrial economics, which were widening daily be- 
fore the eyes of thinking people. During her undergraduate years 
she stood in the rather difficult position of being a very 
young woman possessing a large fortune in her own right. Study 
was the key to accomplishing what she knew she wanted to do, and 
those who taught her could not be other than struck with the fiery 
spirit with which she flung herself into her chosen subjects. 

After she left Bryn Mawr, she began at once to busy herself 
with matters that had to do with justice to the underprivileged and 
to the worker. Conditions even so late as 1908 were still very dif- 
ficult in industry; great corporations were not, as a rule, sympa- 
thetic with labor; unions were multiplying and were experimenting 
with the methods of supporting justice for their members. Often the 


In the summer correspondence between James Rhoads and 
Carey Thomas one gets some idea of the questions and answers 
that went back and forth between them. Matters of buildings were 
so far entirely in his hands, except for the making over of the little 
cottage already on the grounds which was to be the Deanery. Ar- 
rangements for housekeeping they consulted over together, those of 
finance only partially. The question of appointments and of cur- 
riculum they discussed as equals, though final judgment lay in the 
hands of President Rhoads with confirmation by the Board of 
Trustees. Carey Thomas was their talent scout, their general di- 
rectory of scholars, their preliminary inspector of candidates. Even 
on her first tour she kept careful notes on different teachers and 
professors, most of whom she found wanting. "He is a nice man 
but a wretched teacher," she said of one. "His Logic recitation a 
farce," she noted of another. "No degree, pretentious, disagree- 
able." "Latin class well drilled, nothing further," described still an- 
other, and of a Miss Emily Gregory at Wellesley, "Very able woman, 
admirably adapted for our purpose." 

Her report of her findings was read and digested; decisions 
were made; the bulking major problems were brought under con- 
trol along with the swarms of minutiae. Buildings were furnished 
and organized; courses of study were laid down. One by one the 
necessary appointments were made. Carey Thomas made it her busi- 
ness to be widely informed concerning possible candidates, but she 
and James Rhoads occasionally differed in opinion over them. She 
was apt to stress scholarship at the cost of personality; he was more 
careful in looking for the right temperament to fit harmoniously 
into the new and untried organization. "As a man of moderate 
mental force," he observed of one applicant, "I should expect him 
capable of fairly thorough scholarship in a limited sphere." Of 
someone else he pronounced flatly, "He will make us a stepping- 
stone, with no sincere interest in his work." 

On one special point they differed widely, but he was not to be 
moved. "We are justified in making no other announcement than 
that the College is founded on a Christian basis, and then solicit 
applications for Fellowships. This would make our position can- 
did, just and unimpeachable." 

She would not have stressed the point so directly, but she did 


in 1915, as designed "to prepare women for paid and unpaid posi- 
tions in social service." 

There existed already a few such professional schools like the 
New York School of Philanthropy and the Boston School of Social 
Work, giving excellent service. But none of them were sponsored by 
a college or university, where, as was possible here, there could be 
more advanced theoretical teaching, with research and investi- 
gation to keep abreast of the swiftly changing times. Few fields of 
experiment have offered such a challenge. The time of the found- 
ing of the Carola Woerishoffer Graduate Department of Social 
Economy and Social Research was followed by the conditions aris- 
ing from the First World War, by the Depression and subsequent 
recovery and by the Second World War, all of them having reper- 
cussions on the state of society and of industry. 

Although it was called a Graduate Department, it was more 
nearly a professional school than any of the others, with its own 
degrees of Ph.D. and M.A. and its own certificate for completion of 
a settled two years' course. That its purpose was a constructive one 
and thoroughly in step with the needs of the time was proved by 
the opening, within the next few years, of similar schools and de- 
partments, the first at Northwestern University, then at Johns Hop- 
kins, Harvard, and the universities of Chicago and Missouri, with 
various others to follow. President Thomas, at the time of her first 
proposals, already had her eye upon the person whom she con- 
sidered as the ideal head of the new undertaking, Susan Kings- 
bury, from California, a Ph.D. of Columbia in 1905 and at that time 
Professor of Economics at Simmons College. Under her planning, 
four fields of study were outlined. They were Social Case Work 
the one most immediately thought of in connection with such a 
school; Community Organization a field which extended slowly; 
Industrial Relations; and Social and Industrial Investigation. In 
the first one much work had already been done; the others were to a 
great degree still open country in 1915. 

The plan was boldly experimental, as those launched by Carey 
Thomas so often could be. To keep up with the changing and chal- 
lenging demands of education in that period bold experiments 
were a necessity. The greater reassurance as to financial resources 
in the College gave the Directors full warrant to go forward with 


this one. Actually, this department was to come closer to supporting 
itself than have any others in the Graduate School, since here the 
number of students has always been the largest in proportion to the 
overhead. In present years it has come to include many new studies; 
psychiatric social work was established in 1953, as its importance 
and the need for training in it became so evident. One of the de- 
partment's most important offices was the superintending and the 
advising of the Summer School for Women Workers in Industry, 
which was the last of President Thomas's innovations for Bryn 

Carey Thomas, in these middle and later years of her Admin- 
istration, was drawn Into giving more and more time to public af- 
fairs, to speaking at innumerable meetings to support woman suf- 
frage, the League of Nations, hostels for young persons traveling 
abroad, and a myriad of other movements toward a more intel- 
ligently ordered world, especially such a world for women. By rep- 
utation she stood now in the forefront of modern educators; she 
had brought her College into a place of prominence and of vindi- 
cation of all that she had set out to do. It had been accomplished by 
unfaltering devotion to this particular cause, with no staying of the 
hand or thought of rest. But she had, as an unexpected result, 
brought it also into a state of isolation, so great had been her 
spoken emphasis on Bryn Mawr's being the first to do certain 
things, or of being the only one to accomplish certain others. 
Bryn Mawr's President could be relentless in pursuing what she 
thought was for the good of the College; she could be utterly care- 
less of what adverse opinion she stirred up in the accomplishing of 
her ends. She had become a resplendent figure in the world of edu- 
cation; in her own College she was someone whom it was easy to 
criticize and impossible not to admire. 

It is interesting to consider this spirit of very robust combina- 
tion of criticism and admiration which grew up among the stu- 
dents and Alumnae during those later years of her Administration, 
a spirit which seemed not in the least to interfere with their con- 
tinued and vehement loyalty to Bryn Mawr, and to her. In con- 
trast to it we must remember the real devotion of those who were in 
the early classes, who had far closer relations with Carey Thomas 


than ever was possible later. Those personal recollections gathered 
here and there today, which are so valuable and irreplaceable, re- 
flect, nearly all of them, the greatest warmth of affection for her. 
These memories stem from the time when she was the young Dean, 
scarcely older than themselves, with whom they had long discus- 
sions in the little Deanery in the evenings and on the walks back to 
the door of their own dormitory. When she became President, 
although she was still officially Dean also, and liked, oddly, to be 
called by that title for some time after, she still entered into the stu- 
dents' individual affairs for a little time. But it was not fully or for 
long. She knew much of their records on paper; she was, in partic- 
ular, extraordinarily kind and considerate concerning those who 
were going through college on meager funds, but of themselves as 
people she knew little, so great were the other demands upon her 
time and attention. 

The students lost much as this change came about, and it is 
true that Carey Thomas lost much also. There was, as years passed, 
a growing inflexibility about many of her decisions, about her firm 
holding to earlier policies which had been so successful and appro- 
priate for a small college making its way in a world skeptical then 
of the mental capacity of women. It is very probable that she might 
have been less unyielding in some of her decisions had there been 
available to her more real acquaintance with the people involved,, 
more understanding of their point of view. She was capable enough 
of changing her mind once she saw good reason for it; but she was 
also capable of pushing through differing opinions without fully 
listening to them. 

She had a protracted struggle with the students over a cut rule 
which she considered extraordinarily necessary. The Faculty de- 
clared that some restriction of cutting was required; the students 
were reluctant to agree; the rule was made and applied and gave 
rise to great discontent and protest. At last, by the intervention of 
the Alumnae, it was left to student public opinion to regulate the 
cutting, with the students themselves undertaking to be responsible 
for their own system of monitoring and reporting absences. There 
was another sharp battle over the matter of week-end absences, 
which Miss Thomas wished to see restricted to a minimum. She 


grew very bitter over this in her intensity of belief that the stand- 
ards of the College were being affected. But the Self-Government 
Association stood its ground and would not yield. 

A great change had come about in her private life in 1907, 
which could not fail to alter in some measure her approach to her 
work. The marriage of Mary Gwinn, who had lived with her, from 
the first, at the Deanery, a marriage to which Carey Thomas had 
fully justified objection, cut off a friendship which had lasted be- 
tween them since childhood. For a person of Carey Thomas's un- 
yielding spirit and capacity for deep affection, the blow was as bitter 
a one as one friend can ever receive from another. It is evidence of 
her resourcefulness and her powers of persuasion that she at once 
succeeded in inducing Mary Garrett to close her great house in Bal- 
timore and come to settle down at the Deanery. Miss Garrett acted 
against the wishes of her family, who thought that Carey Thomas, 
with her liberal views, was a dangerous influence. But it thus came 
about that a warm, comfortable, unexacting presence was substi- 
tuted for that stimulating intellectual influence and companionship 
which was so irretrievably gone. 

"Miss Semper Paratus" David Scull used to call Mary Garrett, 
since she was always ready to step forward and supply the means 
for extrication from some unforeseen difficulty, to underwrite some 
new idea. As a member of the Board of Directors, appointed very 
early, she sat quietly in her place and said little, but was "always a 
solid vote for Miss Thomas." What her unselfishness, her steady 
good sense and affection, her faith in Carey Thomas all did for 
Bryn Mawr and its turbulent-minded President is hard to estimate. 
It may be that her unquestioning belief in her friend Carey Thomas 
was not always for that friend's best good, but it contributed greatly 
to her happiness. This constant interest and firm support Bryn 
Mawr had enjoyed from the moment that Mary Garrett wrote that 
first letter to the Trustees, stating that her "interest in the College 
depended upon her [Carey Thomas's] connection with it." 

For some years there had not been that great and continuous 
need for buildings which had existed earlier. The larger student 
body made a new gymnasium necessary, for which the Athletic As- 
sociation, stimulated by Constance McK. Applebee, Director of Ath- 
letics, undertook to find the money. They did gather a goodly part 


of it, but in the end had to appeal to President Thomas's proficient 
skill at money raising to make the amount complete. It was built 
in 1909 and was followed by the necessity for a larger Infirmary. 
For this the Class of 1905 gave a basic gift, supplemented by an- 
other from 1909, with a loan to the College from Mary Garrett to 
fill out the required sum. 

Soon after Miss Garrett's taking up residence with her friend, 
plans for the complete rebuilding of the Deanery got under way. It 
spread out under the shadow of the new Library and of the new 
prestige of the College made possible by its larger facilities. The 
two had it in mind that the brown-shingled house, wide and capa- 
cious now, should become famous for the entertaining of distin- 
guished guests. They hoped that it might come about that all great 
persons visiting America from abroad would be entertained at the 
Deanery and would count it as a most memorable item in the itin- 
erary. Wings were thrown out, servants' quarters added, the garden 
was replanned with terraces and fountains and copings of glazed 
Moorish tiles. There was still kept the great old cherry tree which 
was left from the time when that high stretch of land was a farm 
with an orchard, and Joseph Taylor had bought it for his new Col- 

From all over the world, from Carey Thomas's extensive wan- 
derings, from Mary Garrett's more circumscribed journeys, treas- 
ures were brought back by these two for whom the ownership of 
beautiful things was such a delight. The Deanery is even now a mu- 
seum of all the taste and art of the late nineteenth century and the 
beginning of the twentieth, some of it beautiful, some long since 
outgrown. It is a pleasure to contemplate it and to think of how 
two people could so fully have what they wanted. The Sargent 
portrait of Mary Garrett, painted to hang in the Medical School 
which she so richly and shrewdly endowed, had a singularly for- 
tunate copy hung in the great entertainment room of the Deanery. 
It shows a happy and lovable likeness of a just, able and eminent 
woman, who managed the fortune which her father left her with in- 
sight and constructive generosity. That kind and gentle face betrays 
no evidence of the long and distressing illness, heroically borne, of 
which she died in 1915. 

She left the whole of her estate to Carey Thomas with the im- 


plication that it should later go to Bryn Mawr College. Neither o 
the two was aware of how much it had already diminished in the 
changing conditions of a new economic era. Carey Thomas, after 
her first overwhelming grief which for a time made her indifferent 
to all matters, even to her work for the College, began, finally, to 
gather her forces again. Here was a marked change in her circum- 
stances. The girl reared in Quaker austerity, in a household of no 
great means and of unbounded generosity in many directions, was 
now a woman possessed of a fortune with a thousand enterprises 
upon which to spend it, all of them allied in some way to her vision 
of a finer world for women. Her College had a national reputation 
and was beginning to have an international one. There seemed to 
be nothing in the way of her going forward to wider undertakings 
and greater and greater successes. 

And yet she was riding toward the most profound crisis of her 
life, and of her Administration. One of the great educational ques- 
tions of the day was to catch her unawares, was to rock the College 
from the highest to the lowest, was to show, as nothing else ever 
could have shown, just what manner of woman she was and over 
what manner of college she presided. 

Chapter VIII 



It was President Thomas's natural impulse and finally her chosen 
method to carry forward her Administration with a firm and in- 
dividual hand. It seemed to her that it was the most efficient kind of 
procedure for one person at the center of things, and best informed 
of conditions and circumstances, to make the necessary decisions 
upon which others were to act. She had more than once repeated to 
the Directors that it was preferable for her to decide all minor mat- 
ters and ask for the approval of the Board later. Usually this worked 
well enough; the Board deferred to her judgment concerning things 
upon which she was better informed than they. Occasionally 
it ended in strong differences of opinion, so that she learned, per- 
force, just what matters could be considered minor and what could 
not. In the high pursuit of ways and means in the building of the 
Library, her most cherished material project, she pushed her au- 
thority so far that there was deep disagreement between her and 
some of the Trustees, leading directly and indirectly to a series of 

There was precedent enough at that time for this kind of ac- 
tion. It was customary in most institutions for the head of the col- 
lege to hold large authority. By Bryn Mawr's Charter the President 
was the only point of contact between the Trustees and Directors, 
who were the real governors of the College, and the Faculty whom 
they employed and the students whose education they had in 
charge. To be in the position of that intermediary was to hold 



great power and to feel that the using of such power was in the in- 
terests of successful administration. The slower course of consulta- 
tion, of taking advice and getting opinion from the respective 
bodies concerned, was often too tedious for her impatient determi- 
nation. In her time, moreover, it was often the habit and example 
of large and successful business as a matter of course to give much 
authority to a central head and a strong hand. John Garrett, Mary 
Garrett's father, had become President of the Baltimore 8c Ohio 
Railroad Company when it was in mounting difficulties, had pushed 
through his changes in the face of many protests and had arrived at 
dazzling success. Johns Hopkins, his friend and the largest stock- 
holder, had nominated him for President in this difficult time and 
had always upheld him in a firm rule. John D. Rockefeller, Sr., had 
been another case in point. They had all come a long way from 
Joseph Taylor. 

While buildings, upkeep, discriminating maintenance of the stu- 
dent body in numbers and in ability were all of very great impor- 
tance in Carey Thomas's eyes, she was keenly aware of the point 
where she must be most vigilant, where any diminution of Bryn 
Mawr's high reputation could well find a beginning. This was in the 
quality of her Faculty. Over the choice and retention of the teach- 
ing body she watched without ceasing, and with full assumption of 
the idea that hers was the important voice and hers the ultimate 
authority in matters of appointment and dismissal. She had won 
a high reputation in the matter of finding and making use of prom- 
ising young scholars. She knew so much more of the details and was 
so convincing as to particulars in making her recommendations 
that the Directors did not often oppose her offered judgment 

Every new acquisition was the object of her direct and acute in- 
spection as well as was his subsequent career. Such and such a per- 
son is not the success that we had hoped, she would report, "but he 
is aware of his mistakes and is trying his best to overcome his 
faults. If we see some improvement we should try him further for 
another year." The faults which she might enumerate could range 
from "his shocking enunciation" to "his eccentric convictions, so 
persistently held." Against the first of these she might have ordinary 
right of complaint, but by inveighing against the last she was ap- 
proaching the nerve center of a very delicate question. 


The educational trend of the time was more and more artic- 
ulately toward the support of freedom in teaching, a trend of which 
her able Faculty was very well aware. And a body of Directors 
whose central core was a company of Quakers would be certain 
never to subscribe knowingly to anything else. Yet aware as Carey 
Thomas was of new trends and new opportunities in education, 
often indeed ahead of them in point of time, she seems now to have 
been extraordinarily blind to the inexorable drift which had set in, 
away from centralized and authoritative administration and toward 
a fuller democratic method in every line of American procedure, in 
the administration of colleges as well as in every other variety of 
necessary government. And it was perhaps inevitable that she 
should be blind also to the fact that the College was growing up, 
with more and more of its own capacity for advance and develop- 
ment. It had been an entity of its own even when it came into her 
hands; it was even more so now Carey Thomas was not the Col- 
lege, nor was the College Carey Thomas, no matter what the out- 
side world might think. It was conceivable that the College might 
outgrow her and ride over her. 

Toward the end of the year 1915 all these matters had begun 
to combine into definite shape. The newly organized American As- 
sociation of University Professors took up the question of relations 
between faculties and administration, and gave notice that they 
were about to make a thorough study of all professors* contracts. 
They had worked out a tentative system of more democratic pro- 
cedure in the matter, particularly of appointments and tenure, and 
had submitted it for examination to the American colleges and 
universities. President Thomas laid these suggestions before the 
Board of Directors, but insisted, as she did so, that Bryn Mawr was 
not to be judged just as were other colleges. Elsewhere there was 
strict departmental control, with individual heads regulating those 
under them; here there was little authority delegated to heads of 
departments; all real questions went back to the President. But 
none the less she said that she was setting about holding confer- 
ences with the full professors to talk over the contracts and to see 
whether there were anything in them which the Association of 
University Professors would be apt to condemn. It was obviously 
her idea that, after due discussion, she and the Directors would de- 


cide what changes were necessary and would grant, out of their au- 
thority, such more liberal measures as they thought were appro- 
priate. She did not realize that here was the crux of the whole 
matter and that educational advance was calling for a vital alter- 
ation in the whole of traditional procedure. 

Other colleges and universities were already making their first 
experiments with some more democratic policy in regard to the 
position and tenure of professors, notably Yale and the University 
of Pennsylvania, but were proceeding with caution and had not 
yet gone very far. It fell to Bryn Mawr, because of circumstances 
and unexpected timing, to be thrust into the forefront of the whole 
discussion and the whole movement, to bring the question to wide 
public notice and finally to be the first to establish a complete work- 
ing system according to the new regime. The event was so entan- 
gled with personalities, with outraged feelings, with matters which 
seemed to be concerned only with a single college and finally with a 
single individual, that even now perhaps the issue is not clear. Yet 
there was worked out at Bryn Mawr, and settled, with unexpected 
and what seemed at the time deplorable publicity, one of the vital 
problems of modern education and its future usefulness to the 

It is clear enough now, since the question is so greatly magni- 
fied by the position of leadership of the United States, that the 
Western World has become the bulwark of freedom and democracy. 
And it is also clear that the greatest support of that bulwark is 
education, general education, all-pervasive education. To higher, 
academic education belongs the great responsibility and opportu- 
nity of training intelligent youth for its specific work in life, of the 
advancing of techniques, of conducting research for support of new 
formulas for political and social problems, of entering on scientific 
experiments which will carry ordinary life into higher reaches and 
greater security than it has ever known before. If academic educa- 
tion is to support all these processes of advancing democracy, what 
chance is there of its success if it is not democratic in itself? Yet 
developing education had gone well into the twentieth century 
without having given full attention to what seems now so obvious 
and crucial a question. 

At Bryn Mawr as elsewhere, there was a rising tide of interest 


and argument over this new examination of the relations of facul- 
ties to the administrations and to the governing bodies of their 
colleges. And at this special time there was at Bryn Mawr an un- 
easy undercurrent of criticism and of discontent with the estab- 
lished methods of appointment and dismissal, with the restrictions 
on the individual professor's right to lecture outside the College, to 
take part in summer school sessions, or to his being given any as- 
sured tenure of office. Small things have a way of coming to the 
surface of any agitation, and of remaining there, tossed higher and 
higher by the increasing turbulence of feeling, assuming far more 
importance than anyone ever intended to attribute to them. The 
matter of compulsory attendance at Commencement was one of 
these. Into this troubled stream there suddenly flowed, early in 
1916, an unfortunate succession of incidents, of specific cause for 
indignation, for protest and open objection. 

In the English Department, the head of the essay section, the 
course which we now speak of as Freshman English, was a woman 
of brilliant mind and scholarship, who proved herself, in the course 
of her years at Bryn Mawr, as a rarely competent teacher in a 
difficult medium. But she was thought by the President to have 
insufficient success with the organizing and administering of the 
mechanics of that most difficult of courses, Required English Com- 
position, which at this time went through both the freshman 
and the sophomore years. She was rather abruptly supplanted by 
a young man whom Carey Thomas thought to be one of her most 
fortunate choices, since he came with high recommendations and 
pursued by offers of places elsewhere. It is not difficult to imagine 
the collision of authority and the personal feeling which grew out 
of this measure, particularly when it was accompanied by the Presi- 
dent's decision to accompany the change by a reduction in salary to 
the former head of the essay section. Yet the young man and the 
older woman met and composed their differences with understand- 
ing, both of the situation and of the methods of Miss Thomas, and 
in the end promotion, rather than reduction, followed for the dis- 
placed instructor as she entered upon her most successful years at 
Bryn Mawr. This department, after a furious upheaval, after hot 
argument in which even the Alumnae took part, settled down to 
functioning again. Along with this episode there had been wide- 


spread talk of injustice to a young member of the Chemistry Depart- 
ment who said he had an offer elsewhere, but was denied promised 
promotion after the offer had gone out of reach. But this grievance 
seemed to rest on very uncertain basis, and the talk died down. 

The final incident concerned a certain Professor Richard Hoi- 
brook, the only member of the Department of Italian, an able 
scholar in his field who had reiterated for several years that he 
would not stay longer unless he were made a full professor. It was 
one of Miss Thomas's less popular decrees that there should not be 
a full professorship in certain departments which she considered 
of insufficient importance or which drew too few students to war- 
rant one. Her choice as to which these departments were was natu- 
rally never concurred in by the principal figure in the department 
itself, and often by only a few of the rest of the Faculty. Dr. Hoi- 
brook, after having had a year's notice that he would not have pro- 
motion when his three-year term came to an end, was told, finally, 
that his services would be concluded at the end of the academic 
year. At first he said fhat he would stay on as an associate professor. 
On that offer's being declined, he voiced vigorous protests and in- 
sistence that his dismissal rested on personal grounds and that he 
had been unjustly dealt with. He allowed his grievance to be taken 
up by one of the important newspapers of Philadelphia, and a bat- 
tle was joined which shook the College to its foundations. 

The editors of the Philadelphia Public Ledger began their 
campaign by sending a circular letter to various Alumnae and to 
members of the Board of Directors, saying that they felt concerned 
over the injustices done, citing a list of examples of which they had 
heard. Some of their information in this regard was correct and 
some widely erroneous. They finally reached their climax in saying 
that since the College was an institution chartered by the State of 
Pennsylvania for the service of the public, the conduct of the Presi- 
dent was a public matter and they proposed to examine into the 
question as to whether she were really fit to retain her office. 

On seeing the circular letter, which of course came finally to 
her hands, Carey Thomas was staggered by attack from such an 
unexpected quarter and by the extent and severity of the accusa- 
tions. She prepared a careful statement, refuting and explaining the 
special details of unfair treatment which the Ledger letter had 


referred to in such unequivocal terms. She went herself, with the 
reply in her hand, to the managing editor of the paper and stated 
her case, stated her belief that these charges were unwarranted and 
constituted serious damage to her professional reputation. The edi- 
tor gave the reply his close attention, said that it was evident that 
in certain matters they had been misinformed, and promised that 
nothing should be published without her first seeing the article and 
being given a chance to reply. 

But although specific action in particular cases could be ex- 
plained away, nothing could remove the fact that there had been 
growing discontent for a long period, that sharp criticism had risen 
into established distrust, that many of the teaching staff felt insecure 
in their tenure of office, which was "at the pleasure of the Directors/' 
and that they were deeply resentful of those matters in which they 
were not allowed to make their own decisions. It was quite clear 
that it would be no longer possible to maintain an adequate Faculty 
at Bryn Mawr unless some very radical change was put into effect. 

The full professors, who had taken updn themselves the re- 
sponsibility of stating the grievances and asking for redress, had 
already formed a committee consisting of Drs. Arthur Wheeler and 
Tenney Frank of the Latin Department, Dr. William Huff in phys- 
ics and Dr. George Barton in biblical history. They were all men so 
well established in their departments and so valuable to the college 
that there could be no question of their having any personal stake 
in the matter. Under their initiative a letter dated March 29, 1916, 
was sent to the President. It stated that "the present method of 
making and terminating appointments ... at Bryn Mawr College 
has for several years excited much unfavorable comment which 
has been detrimental to the best interests of the college. It seems to 
us that some remedy is needed. . . ." 

It went on to suggest the adoption of the "Practical Proposals" 
offered by the American Association of University Professors, and 
in particular that the Faculty set up a standing committee to be con- 
sulted on all appointments, or refusal of reappointments. It asked 
further that representatives of the Faculty be given a place and a 
vote on the Board of Directors. It was signed by nearly all of the 
full professors but with one or two very definite abstentions. 

The President laid it before the Directors at a special meeting 


called the day after the Faculty letter was received. A committee of 
the Directors was appointed to confer with the Faculty; it did not in- 
clude President Thomas. A series of meetings for conference was 
begun, during which members of this committee managed to talk 
with the whole of the Bryn Mawr Faculty, including the associates 
as well as professors and associate professors, to gather a consensus 
of opinion and to ascertain the true state of mind of Bryn Mawr's 
teaching staff. They were in the midst of these conferences when 
the first Ledger article appeared on April isth. The opening state- 
ment was that "in consequence of a charge of autocratic and arbi- 
trary action/' the Faculty and Directors of Bryn Mawr were in con- 
ference over proposed changes. 

Appended to it was a letter from one of the very prominent 
Alumnae, stating frankly that, fully aware as she was of the fine 
work done by Miss Thomas for Bryn Mawr, the College in her 
opinion was now "overadministered," with too many minute rules 
and multiplied penalties infringing on what had been meant to be 
a free intellectual life. The next day there followed an article even 
more damaging and beginning with the statement, which was en- 
tirely incorrect, that an "investigating committee" had been organ- 
ized among the Directors "to sit upon the charges preferred by the 
senior professors against the administration of Dr. M. Carey 
Thomas." The implication of such wording was misleading to the 
last degree and was answered at once by Thomas Raeburn White, 
one of the Trustees, to the effect that the Directors' Committee had 
been appointed not by any means to investigate accusations, but 
to consult with the senior professors as to a new plan for laying 
more responsibility of government upon the Faculty. 

But what, in the Ledger article, was far less answerable, was 
almost a full page of letters from former professors, some of them 
of very distinguished position, among them Dr. Neilson who later 
became President of Smith and Dr. Alvin Johnson who was to be 
head of the New School for Social Research. There was a letter 
from Dr. Gonzales Lodge, he who had once remonstrated with 
Carey Thomas upon the overawing effect her presence had in the 
Oral Examinations. Eight of the writers condemned the present rule 
unreservedly, speaking bitterly of their treatment at Bryn Mawr, 
and declaring that they would never recommend a student to 


accept appointment there. At the end of the list of eight such crit- 
ics, the ninth man spoke in her defense, saying that while Yale, 
where he was professor, had a certain measure of Faculty voice in 
appointments, it was still true that just such cases of apparent 
injustice as had been cited could arise there also. Though he called 
President Thomas "the autocrat of Bryn Mawr/* he pointed out 
that centralized authority over appointment and dismissal was still 
the custom "In most of our colleges," a state of affairs "which the 
whole tendency of the time was bound to bring to an end." This was 
indeed how the tendency of the time was bringing it to an end here 
and now. 

As a result of the publicity, everyone, of course, took sides at 
once. There was hardly a member of the Faculty who had not some 
sharp grievance small or great, yet a very small number raised 
their voices still in praise of their President's accomplishments. A 
large number of the Alumnae stated it as their honest opinion that 
her method had been wrong and that a drastic change must be 
made in the whole administrative system. Yet the idea of her being 
removed from office, even of there being any question of doing it, 
had not the smallest consideration. The Trustees and Directors 
stood by her with a firmness which must have been infinite comfort 
in the face of this fierce thrust against her pride and her pride 
in Bryn Mawr. The Presidents of Harvard, Mount Holyoke, Smith 
and Vassar published statements praising her leadership and her 
high ideals for American education. 

After her first shock of indignation, in which she planned bit- 
terly to bring suit against the newspaper "for defamation of char- 
acter," she was persuaded to take the matter less keenly to heart 
and let the storm blow over. The management was already com- 
mitted to a change, and the real necessity was for all of them to 
address themselves to that task and accomplish it in cool judgment 
and not hot altercation. As one reads the correspondence and 
watches the give-and-take of acrimonious public dispute, and as 
one observes also the concurrent negotiation and consultation 
which were to lead to such constructive results, one realizes to the 
full the differing qualities of Carey Thomas. It was the sum of her 
inherent failings which brought about the situation, plus, besides, 
the conflicting elements of traditional procedure and irresistible 


trend of the times. Concerning those failings of her impetuous and 
commanding character her adherents have never attempted denial 
or excuse. But as she turned her back on the bitterly humiliating 
public condemnation and brought to bear, where it was most in- 
tensely needed, the whole of her experienced wisdom, her gift for 
clarification and persuasion, we see her doing her largest service 
for the College. The generosity of her surrender to the new necessi- 
ties obviated a hundred difficult and time-wasting moments. A 
new plan, a written constitution is no easy thing to bring into being, 
and calls for long consideration and exchanges of views. Directors, 
President and Faculty carried on the conferences with singular 
lack of bitterness or antagonism. The Faculty asked for certain 
measures which in the end they did not receive. One of them was 
the right, which was the President's, to review the decisions of the 
Self-Government Association. Against this, feeling and knowing it 
to be an error, Carey Thomas argued more earnestly than she had 
over any point which more nearly concerned her personal author- 
ity. Here, as before, she set the position of the College far above 
her own. 

Much good was accomplished in the end. The Faculty Plan of 
Government, to which the professors contributed their ideas, which 
Charles J. Rhoads and Thomas Raeburn White, with their com- 
mittee, shaped into working and legal form, stood well to the fore 
among those new academic constitutions which were slowly taking 
form elsewhere. The Faculty were to elect three representatives who 
were to sit in the meetings with the Directors, to explain the posi- 
tion of their colleagues, but who were not to have a vote. Matters of 
appointment and promotion were to be passed on, with recommen- 
dation to action, from the Faculty to the President, who was to 
make final recommendation to the Directors. Committees of the Fac- 
ulty were to govern the policies concerning examinations, curricu- 
lum and the forming of new departments. Full professors were to 
have indefinite tenure of office. The prohibition on outside lectures 
it may have occurred to someone at this point that such oppor- 
tunities brought prestige to the College and on teaching in sum- 
mer schools was removed, but it was still compulsory to attend 
Commencement. There had been a request for the altering of Bryn 


Mawr's Charter, to make it officially a nonsectarian college, and 
thus put it into the category accepted by the organization for retire- 
ment incomes, the Carnegie Pension Fund. Bryn Mawr was not ac- 
cepted as eligible until later, when the event came about largely 
through the tireless efforts of Carey Thomas. 

The smoke cleared away; the Public Ledger came out later 
with an editorial giving tribute to Bryn Mawr's President as an 
able officer in the great domain o education. Miss Thomas, in a 
statement to the College News, declared: 

"Trustees and college presidents should no longer shoulder 
alone the responsibility of maintaining the teaching and research of 
any given college at the highest possible level. I confidently believe 
that the college professors of the country would rise to these respon- 
sibilities if placed on them. It is my hope that at Bryn Mawr we 
shall be able to solve this most difficult problem of all college ad- 

And in that statement, coming at the end of the bitter experi- 
ence of merited rebuke, accompanied by criticism, much misstate- 
ment and obloquy, she was none the less ungrudgingly sincere. One 
of the harshest denouncements uttered by the Public Ledger re- 
ferred to "the absolute dictatorship of the woman who holds a posi- 
tion which might be made of the highest influence for the advance- 
ment of learning and for the fostering of academic freedom." Such 
an influence for the advancement of learning she had surely been, 
stimulating, challenging and unfearing. Such an influence for aca- 
demic freedom she would now set out to be, and would bring her 
beloved Bryn Mawr once again into leadership. How deep the hurt 
had been, how reluctantly she had changed her whole course of 
action, she never voluntarily admitted. But she gave evidence of 
it when nineteen years later she stood on the platform of Goodhart 
Hall at the College's fiftieth anniversary celebration and made her 
last public speech. She could not forbear indicating then that she 
believed the professors were being called upon to spend precious 
time, which should go into research, upon administrative duties 
which could as easily "have been done by secretaries." In her years 
of retirement she had somewhat lost touch with the heart of the 
question, with the fact that while some drudging administrative 


work was unavoidably necessary, the professors of Bryn Mawr had 
not sought to take over the prerogatives of secretaries but of Presi- 

But she entered upon the practice of the new system at once. 
And at the Commencement of June, 1916, while her large audience 
was waiting breathlessly to hear whether she would mention these 
turbulent passages of the last few months, she spoke out nobly in 
support of the Plan of Government: "Other great experiments 
have succeeded at Bryn Mawr against prophecy and general ex- 
pectation. Why not this greatest of all experiments in American 
college education?" 

Chapter IX 


Roughly speaking, the First World War did not make such an im- 
pact upon women's colleges as did the Second. The United States 
had not yet discovered the full measure of reserve force latent in its 
feminine population, still not generally considered to be even 
equal to the task of voting. But during 1917 and 1918 there was 
such undeniable proof of what women could do when they were 
given the opportunity, or when they had stepped out and taken it, 
such illustration of their capacity for new sorts of trained skills, 
of their industry and courage and their overflowing patriotism, 
that general opinion was obliged to reconsider. It began by giving 
them the vote, called then a privilege, but so long proclaimed by 
Carey Thomas and others as an undeniable right. 

With the men's colleges decimated as to students, made over 
into military training schools, deprived of their young instructors 
and in a good many cases of their older specialists, it fell, to a cer- 
tain degree, to the women's institutions to carry on the normal 
continuity of established American education, and to keep fully in 
sight the high standards which it had achieved and could not afford 
to lose. Therefore one finds Bryn Mawr moving forward on its own 
way, with some diminution of upper-class students, with some loss in 
teaching staff, much troubled by the multitude of smaller difficulties 
but not giving ground on larger issues. Resident students' time which 
was given to war work was taken out of that assigned to athletics and 
similar activities. The great difficulty of obtaining proper food to 
.supply the halls was much mitigated later by the working force of 
^energetic young women on the Bryn Mawr Farm. 




War brides were accepted in residence after a little debate 
and were expected to carry on exactly as before. The experi- 
ence of sudden marriage, of almost immediate parting, of seeing the 
young husband plunge into a war already so far advanced that its 
full danger and horror were absolutely known and unhidden be- 
hind any rosy dreams of easy victory all this was the emotional 
ordeal which few experiences in later life could ever match. Yet 
these girls never asked for nor received any special consideration; 
they toiled over their papers and wrote their examinations in a fine 
pretense of business as usual Some left for war work or to follow 
their husbands, but there was no lack of applicants for entrance. 
Here as elsewhere there came to everyone an almost unbelieving rush 
of excitement and relief when in November of 1918 there was an- 
nounced a Faculty resolution that there should be no lectures that 
day because an armistice had been signed. Isabel Maddison, Assist- 
ant to the President, heretofore always moving in unimpeachably 
correct British dignity, dashed up the tower stairs and rang Taylor 
bell with her own hand. 

The work of the Faculty during that period was extra heavy, 
for, even though shorthanded, they had taken a large task to per- 
form. The Plan of Government, if it were not to be merely some- 
thing drawn up on paper, called for arduous labor in getting it into 
working order. There was some justification in Carey Thomas's 
later statement that it gave professors the work of secretaries to do; 
it went further and gave them, so it sometimes seemed, the work of 
galley slaves. Yet all were willing to settle to it, for it stood not 
only for hard-won victory in the past but for wide results in the 
future. For them it was a period of learning how a democratic 
system could be turned to the efficient carrying out of a supremely 
complex process. There was no room in these new debates for verbi- 
age or personal difference; results and agreements had to be ob- 
tained, and were. 

Committees were made up on Petitions, on Curriculum, on 
Admissions, besides the all-important one on Appointments. The 
only member left of that first brilliant Faculty with which Bryn 
Mawr opened, Charlotte Angus Scott, with her unruly cropped hair 
growing gray and her rough-hewn strikingness of feature as strong 
and rugged as ever, stood up to give their first report. 


"Having now a share in the government," she said, "we must 
do our share and not throw solutions of difficulties on the Board of 
Directors, especially difficulties which would not have arisen under 
the old system." Great effort had always been made on this commit- 
tee, she explained, to send recommendations to the Directors as a 
unanimous opinion. "So far we have not yet been obliged to have 
recourse to the crude device of a majority vote. By devoting full 
time to discussion we have been able to secure unanimity." She was 
voicing the true spirit behind the Plan of Government, which, if 
supported by anything less than the highest motives, could break 
down into sectional or individual self-seeking. 

President Thomas presided over the meetings without offering 
comment or obstruction, and often contributed penetrating advice. 
After all, she was more experienced in what they were doing than 
they were themselves. But it must have been hard for her to see 
the language examinations modified, and then a general recon- 
sideration of the College Entrance requirements being taken under 
advisement. It had always been Carey Thomas's contention that 
these examinations must be difficult and exacting, increasingly so 
as the resources and skill in preparation of the lower schools grew 
greater. Some years before, Dr. Abraham Flexner, in a study of 
the American college, pointed out that rigid requirements laid 
down by the colleges exerted influence through the whole structure 
of secondary education, tending to bind it to such a limited course 
that it was impossible to keep real step with changing times. The 
process tended also to produce students who had followed so closely 
a prescribed line of work that the necessary power of selection was 
wanting when they came into college, with its whole or modified 
elective system. Into this matter the Bryn Mawr Faculty went also, 
prescribing new specifications and changes, with a greater latitude 
of choice in the subjects on which applicants were to be examined 
for matriculation. The decisions on this question came after long 
and complex debate. Other colleges had arrived at such changes 
considerably earlier. 

All these and other problems were deliberated and brought to 
conclusion, even in the midst of so much overwork and the distract- 
ing circumstances of the war, called the Great War then, with no 
suspicion of how much greater a one was even then in the making. 


In 1915 the Bryn Mawr Club of New York had made President 
Thomas their first honorary member, in appreciation of her con- 
tribution to "the enduring elements in the structure and life of the 
College." It was the firm strength of these enduring elements which 
had held Bryn Mawr so stoutly during this tumultuous period of 
the war and of internal change. But with the peace there came to 
everyone an upsurge of belief and an unquenchable feeling that 
with all this struggle there must surely be something great to show 
for it, a new world of ideas and action. People were set free to 
be happy, to travel again, to embark on new enterprises. The air 
was teeming with plans, those of Carey Thomas among them. But 
first the Faculty and the College had to turn their hands to a large, 
grave need. 

In 1920 there had passed through the Board of Directors a 
resolution requiring the retirement of all members of the Adminis- 
tration and the teaching staff at the age of sixty-five. It brought Miss 
Thomas's own departure very near, for she would reach that age in 
1922. But she did not hesitate over this. She could still recollect, 
as she had once told James Rhoads, having seen in the universities 
of Germany and Switzerland a department's usefulness being par- 
alyzed as all concerned waited for an aging and obstructive incum- 
bent to die. This, she determined, was never to happen at Bryn 
Mawr, She was quite certain that, in her own case, she could bow 
herself out graciously and leave her work to other hands. With the 
inheritance from Miss Garrett she would be able to go forward 
into other, nonacademic activities, to travel widely and to give 
largely to all those causes in which she was so much interested. Al- 
ready she had been turning back to the College her salary as Presi- 
dent, in place of the contribution which her friend had made yearly. 
She had been practicing wide generosity in other ways, too wide 
to be wise, as she was to see in time. 

But for members of the Faculty, retirement was a very different 
matter. With the high prices prevalent during the war, and the 
expensiveness of even the most modest scale of living, the matter 
of saving for later years had gone by the board. Any measure for 
compulsory retirement, it became evident, must be accompanied by 
some provision for academic pensions. 

The answer seemed to He in the receipt, at this time, of a large 


bequest from the estate of Margaret Olivia Sage, whose husband, 
Russell Sage, had left her a substantial fortune which she consid- 
ered a trust to be eventually distributed among the philanthropic 
interests which meant much to both of them. Among the other 
women's colleges, Bryn Mawr was left a portion designated, when 
the will was probated, as $500,000, but which proved later to 
amount to approximately $800,000. 

Such a sum seemed at first, and to everyone's relief, to be com- 
pletely adequate for the necessary purpose, but disillusionment 
soon followed. The College was deeply in debt; all of the buildings 
were seriously out of repair because during the war there had 
been neither opportunity nor money for putting them in order. 
The power house needed a large addition for the proper heating 
and lighting of the College. In every direction could be seen a yawn- 
ing repository for the newly acquired funds. The Carnegie Founda- 
tion for the Advancement of Teaching had been set up some years 
before, and was subsidizing a plan for retirement pensions, but 
with the specification that its benefits could go only to nonsectar- 
ian colleges and universities. This Bryn Mawr was not, so the Foun- 
dation's Board declared, because of the requirement in Dr. Taylor's 
will that the Trustees must be chosen from the members of the 
Orthodox Society of Friends. It then became clear how wise had 
been the step, in 1906, of extending the governing body to a wider 
list of Directors, with Alumnae represented and with no stipula- 
tion as to their being of any special denomination. 

It was owing to the diligence of Carey Thomas that the deci- 
sion of the Carnegie Foundation was altered. She wrote letters; she 
enlisted the most impressive members of the Board of Trustees to 
go with her to interview the officers of the Carnegie Foundation; 
she gathered legal opinion and convincing statements as to Bryn 
Mawr's real status. It was finally made fully evident that, although 
the Trustees were the holding company in which ownership of the 
College was vested, the Directors were the operators, in whose hands 
lay the real conduct of its affairs. With this clarification the Carne- 
gie Foundation declared itself satisfied, admitted Bryn Mawr to 
their eligible list and promised a grant of $50,000 toward the setting 
up of a contributory pension system at Bryn Mawr. It was still nec- 
essary for the College to have, at the beginning, the interest on 


$200,000 to finance its own share of the contributions. At the ear- 
nest solicitation of the Faculty this sum was appropriated from 
the Russell Sage funds. But this, even yet, did not settle the prob- 
lem, so deep and difficult had it become. As inflationary conditions 
mounted, the situation of the teaching staff became steadily and 
seriously worse. 

In a dignified and carefully considered report, the Faculty 
stated the truly desperate nature of their plight. The younger mem- 
bers were being obliged to borrow money to meet the most ordinary 
scale of family expenses. None of them could afford the extra cost 
of taking spare time and travel to enlarge their research. They were 
not making specific demands; they were not threatening to leave; 
but they were asking the Directors to look for some general remedy 
for their critical and increasing need. President Thomas, presiding 
at the Faculty meeting when this report was debated, said that no 
person could agree with it more fully than she did. And Dr. Ar- 
thur Wheeler, who had been so prominent in securing the Plan of 
Government, now stood up to suggest his remedy. The Faculty 
should ask all of those who were in any way connected with the 
College to combine in a drive to raise a million dollars in endow- 
ment funds. The Russell Sage Fund and the grant from the Carne- 
gie Foundation made it just possible to set up a pension system. 
But there was scarcely anyone there who could hope to join in a 
contributory pension plan when he had no more than the barest 

After the years of chaotic financial conditions the country over 
during the war, after the long period of bond drives, Red Cross 
campaigns and money raising for foreign relief in the devastating 
famine conditions that attended the end of the war, it seemed now 
a tremendous undertaking to set out to gather funds for Bryn 
Mawr. But the Directors agreed, and the Alumnae, throwing them- 
selves into the plan, set the goal at two million instead of one. The 
Alumnae were many times stronger than they had been at the last 
money raising when the Rockefeller gift was to be met by an equal 
amount raised by the College. Under the Alumnae Presidency of 
Louise Congdon Francis they set up a far more systematic organi- 
zation than they had ever had before, arranged by geographical 
districts, with chairmen and committees for each. Truly notable 


figures emerged as leaders, with Caroline McCormick Slade at their 
head. The labor was arduous and often looked impossible as month 
followed month, but the General Education Board had promised 
the last $250,000 of each million, which gave a closer goal for 
which to strive. By the end of the campaign in 1920 the sum was 
completed and oversubscribed, a signal success and an irreplace- 
able contribution to the welfare and security of the College. There 
had grown up, also, a most satisfactory coordination of the whole 
membership of the College organization, all working together in 
full agreement and efficiency to the common end. 

In the whole of the undertaking, President Thomas had played 
a lesser part than in similar periods of the College's history. She had 
passed through a most arduous three years, and some deeply diffi- 
cult personal experience. She had also been steeped in the political 
excitement of the immediate time, the coming of woman suffrage 
for which she had worked so long, the campaign for the League of 
Nations in which her persistent disapproval of Woodrow Wilson 
had at last dissolved, and the growing vision of a possible system 
of world peace. Throughout the war she had been cut off from 
any opportunity for travel, which was her real rest and relaxation. 
Now she had asked for a year's leave of absence in the academic 
period of 1919 and 1920, to go around the world. Earlier she 
could not have afforded it; soon she might be too old. Her place 
was given over to Helen Taft, young for a Dean, very young for 
an acting President. 

But no person could believe that the mind of Carey Thomas, 
no matter how far away she traveled, would cease to be occupied 
with large and enterprising matters. Like many other people, she 
was certain that something new and triumphant must emerge after 
the war years of struggle and sacrifice through which the world had 
been laboring. And she felt that in the quest for some new good, 
Bryn Mawr must have its part. 

The absolute necessity, which had developed during the war, 
for the inclusion of women in the ranks of industry, was succeeded 
by a general acknowledgment of its continued expediency. But the 
place of women here, as elsewhere, was ill defined so that there 
were wide opportunities for exploitation and for clashes of con- 
flicting interests. There were sharp differences of opinion even 


among the ranks of labor itself. This Carey Thomas had been 
watching and considering, in her unending vigil as champion of 
the various rights and activities of women. In some of her earlier 
experiments, and the departments she had set up at Bryn Mawr, 
she had added vocational and professional training to a more or 
less established system of theoretical instruction. Now she was to 
approach a new plan from the opposite quarter and was to add 
theoretical teaching to vocational skill already acquired. 

As she passed through England, she had observed anew and 
more closely the labor colleges carried on by the trade unions, 
and as she moved southward for a tour of Egypt these matters were 
steadily in her thoughts. She has told vividly of the evening in the 
desert, during one of those fertile moments of a creative mind, 
when solitude, beauty of surroundings and subconscious approach 
to a decision combined to produce within her the nucleus of that 
plan which was to grow into the Summer School at Bryn Mawr 
for the benefit of women in industry. She was convinced of the need; 
she was sure of Bryn Mawr's resources and good will; she was cer- 
tain that the organizing power of the College would surmount all 
obstacles that would present themselves. As soon as she returned 
home, in the autumn of 1920, she lost no time in laying her project 
before the Board of Directors. 

This undertaking, she assured them, would make no claim on 
the income of the College; it merely asked for the loan of the build- 
ings during the summer. Nothing would be set on foot until the 
whole scheme was completely financed. The Faculty were to be thor- 
oughly consulted so that there should be no misunderstandings as 
to the sources of funds and the final purposes. What she wished to 
do was to organize an eight-week Summer School for women in 
industry, women "working with the tools of their trade," and to 
offer them "a fuller special education and an opportunity to study 
special subjects in order that they may widen their influence in the 
industrial world, help in the social reconstruction and increase the 
happiness and usefulness of their own lives." 

It was perhaps the boldest of her bold plans, for it faced a 
totally untried experiment in American education. A promise of 
breadth of consultation was actually Its saving grace, for this 
alone rendered it flexible and open to necessary change. The Direc- 


tors, although this was something utterly different from anything 
presented, to them before, gave unanimous consent, as did the Board 
of the Alumnae Association. The Faculty voted for it enthusiasti- 
cally. It captured the imagination of the students who contributed 
money, good will and hearty assistance. Contributions began to 
come in; some were from a new quarter, from trade-union organi- 
zations, from the Y.W.C.A. and from other associations acquainted 
with the needs of working women. These offered expert advice on 
the special problems which were to be met and on the selection of 

It was Miss Thomas's plan that a combined committee of Di- 
rectors, Alumnae and Faculty, with some representatives from la- 
bor associations, was to manage the whole undertaking. Yet her firm 
belief was that the majority of the members of this managing body 
should be of the College, since it was college education which was 
here being dispensed. The Summer School opened in July of 1921, 
with a student list of eighty-two. 

The question of curriculum proved to be a surprisingly knotty 
one. From the first, some subjects were required, English, and the 
ability to reach a certain degree of self-expression, labor economics 
and hygiene. In that first year there were courses in social and 
political history, appreciation of music and others of the same sort, 
along with industrial organization and women in the labor move- 
ment. Tutors were appointed to consult with groups of five students 
at a time, to see that they understood, that they were moving 
forward and that they were not discouraged. Discussions were in- 
vited and criticism was free and blunt. These students who had so 
little time, who had, many of them, risked losing their jobs by tak- 
ing these eight weeks for their own, could not be silent when they 
were so desperately serious over getting the most possible out of the 
two months of instruction. 

There was for some time an unexpected undercurrent of curi- 
ous suspicion, a haunting question. "What is Bryn Mawr College 
doing this for? What do they expect from us?" There were, further, 
strong clashes of opinion and ideas among the students themselves, 
differences between unionists and nonunionists, between members 
of different industries, of different nationalities, of different races. 
General meetings, supposedly for recreation, could develop into a 


tumult of furious argument and acrimony, completely beyond the 
control of the chairman, until only the timely arrival of the Direc- 
tor, Hilda Smith, could bring any order out of the chaos of warring 
opinion. Hers was a remarkable gift for harmony, for promoting 
real understanding and enlisting mutual good will, for stimulat- 
ing the disputants to reach basic questions and to look for final 

It was evident, by the end of the first session, that many changes 
must be inaugurated if the School were to endure. This initial 
period of trial and error, of pioneering experiment, was one of the 
great contributions made by the Summer School for Women Work- 
ers in Industry to further exploration and accomplishment in the 
same field. One of the truths beginning to be clear was that labor, 
not college organizations, knew really what form of instruction 
labor required. This was difficult for President Thomas to see at 
once, for when the School Director and others laid the idea before 
her she still declared in effect, "We are professional educators; we 
know more of this business than any layman from industry can." 

At a meeting of the General Committee, held to discuss what 
the experiences of the first year had shown, she was still holding to 
this belief, through a long morning of argument and strongly con- 
flicting opinion. When they adjourned for lunch, Carey Thomas 
chanced to sit next to a buttonhole maker, a true representative of 
the "women working with the tools of their trade," who offered her 
a forthright account of labor's hunger for instruction and its specific 
needs. As the afternoon session opened, Miss Thomas began it with 
an arresting announcement: 

"I have changed my mind." 

The unwitting eloquence of her luncheon neighbor had con- 
vinced Carey Thomas that labor knew what it wanted and alone 
could explore the depths of its own needs. Henceforth there was a 
Joint Committee, a very large one, with equal representation from 
the College and from labor, with, in course of time, more and more 
of the alumnae of the Summer School holding place on it. From that 
time satisfactory progress was made. 

Changes in curriculum laid greater and greater emphasis on 
instruction in economics and labor relations. The Recreation De- 
partment, met at first with the cry, "We don't know how to play," 

Panorama of Campus with Rhoads Hall in the foreground 

A class in the Cloisters of the 
M. Carey Thomas Library, 1953 
(Photo Tom Leonard, by per- 
mission of the Conde Nast Pub- 


was able to convince these toiling women that life need not be 
wholly barren of pleasure. It is difficult to measure what great good 
this hitherto untried venture accomplished in its years at Bryn 
Mawr, how it broadened the vision, overcame prejudices and en- 
riched the industrial life of women who worked with their hands. 
There was always pressure of applicants for admission. In the end, 
the Summer School outgrew the space and time which the College 
could give it. The occasion of departure, coming in the next 
Administration, was an extraordinarily difficult passage in its con- 
nection with the College. Other, similar schools followed it, at the 
University of Wisconsin, at Barnard, at Smith and in the South. 
One student at the Summer School managed, with sacrifice and 
pride and happiness, to send a daughter to the larger Bryn Mawr 
to acquire an A.B. Carey Thomas, long after her retirement, re- 
mained a member of the governing Board. 

June of 1922 arrived inexorably, with President Thomas among 
the first to retire under the new regulation. She had made far- 
reaching plans, to travel, to write her autobiography, to devote 
herself to her rich variety of interests. So closely and so long had her 
single and arresting personality been identified with the College 
that people were asking everywhere what Bryn Mawr would be 
without Miss Thomas. A committee to choose her successor had 
been at work, with the names of candidate after candidate passing 
under their scrutiny. Carey Thomas had some preferences of her 
own; it was natural that she should lean toward someone with 
whose work or whose mind she was sufficiently familiar to forecast 
the Administration which would follow. Her methods could be 
startlingly direct. "We shall now pass to the consideration of the 
choice of a President/' the Chairman of the Board would announce, 
upon which Miss Thomas has been quoted as saying at once, "Miss 
Reilly, will you please withdraw?" 

But among the Alumnae there was more and more urging 
of the appointment of Marion Park, of the Bryn Mawr Class of 
1898, European Fellow, M.A. and Ph.D. of Bryn Mawr, now Dean 
of Radcliffe. The Directors began to feel the truth and soundness of 
their opinion, reached agreement among themselves and offered 
her the place. But Marion Park hesitated. She felt that her whole 
nature, taste and dedication were with New England; she had 


conscientious doubts as to whether she were really the right person 
for that special and exacting position. 

Carey Thomas could not understand how anyone would hesitate 
In accepting what she herself felt was so privileged a place. When 
the representatives of the Trustees journeyed to Cambridge, to speak 
officially to Dean Park, President Thomas went also, for a word of 
her own. A young Radcliffe student, coming suddenly into the 
house, remembers being confronted there by an unknown and au- 
gust lady, sitting in the dining room waiting for the end of a con- 
ference. Visible through an opening door was an elderly gentleman 
in close consultation with Marlon Park. The girl realized afterward 
that the lady, who spoke to her graciously, but seemed a little 
distraught, was Miss Thomas. As a result of the conference, Marion 
Park overcame her hesitations and, to the great benefit of Bryn 
Mawr, decided to accept. 

President Thomas stepped out of her place in a blaze of 
glory, of receptions and dinners, of honorary degrees and newspa- 
per editorials and public tributes from every direction. The adula- 
tion was all justified, the praise of what she had done fully de- 
served. Hers was a figure bound to become legendary in time, a 
person of unparalleled force and enterprise, of undaunted enthusi- 
asm and all-embracing vision. She had been the center of more 
than one controversy; criticisms had been hurled upon her; antag- 
onists had risen up In her way. But no one could ever question 
the completeness of the devotion with which she had given herself 
to her chosen task, that of making education, "so freely offered to 
young men," the natural right of women. She had gone on to the 
opening of doors to women in all directions, doors of opportunity 
for which they had not even thought to ask. No one could say 
that such work was yet complete; a single lifetime could not possi- 
bly compass all that was to be done. But she had set the feet of 
very many upon upward paths, paths o which not even her vision 
could see the end. 

Marion Edwards Park 

PRESIDENT 1922-1942 

A.B. Bryn Marwr College, 1898 
M.A. Bryn Mawr College, 1899 
fh.D. Bryn Mawr College, 1928 

Chapter X 


The many Quaker principles and ideas which had gone so largely 
Into the founding of Bryn Mawr were rather unexpectedly and ex- 
actly complemented by the advent, in this third Administration, of 
that spirit of New England which arrived with Marion Park. In the 
new President's House it was hardly necessary to see the portrait of 
Jonathan Edwards on the wall to know that Bryn Mawr had, with 
rare good fortune, enlisted the services of a member of that family 
whose specialty ran so strangely to College presidencies. In her, as 
in them all, there was that strain of conscientious, self-questioning 
devotion to any accepted responsibility, which would ensure and 
guard its fulfillment to the uttermost detail. 

Marion Park came of a family in which ministers and scholars 
had followed one another for generation after generation; she had 
grown up, the daughter of a Congregational minister, in the par- 
sonage of a small town, Gloversville, in upstate New York. Her 
father was a scholar by nature; her brother, Edwards Park, was 
destined for a career of brilliant scientific accomplishment. Jona- 
than Edwards himself, who was her three times great-grandfather, 
was so deeply absorbed, all his life, in religious and philosophic 
thought, that it was said that he did not recognize his own children 
on the street. In this respect Marion Park was the very epitome of 
what he was not. The warmth of human kindness and understand- 



ing which she brought to her contacts with people, the reassuring 
friendliness of which even a stranger was immediately aware, had 
their origin in her true and vivid interest in the citizens of the world 
around her, and went far beyond any casual gift o agility of mem- 
ory and easy recollection of names and faces. 

Miss Thomas, on retirement, had expressed the wish that, after 
a year of travel, she might continue to live in the old Deanery, so 
much had it become identified with the sort of living which she and 
Mary Garrett had established there. For Marion Park a smaller and 
a simpler house was far more welcome, and she found it in Pen-y- 
Groes, built first by Marion Reilly of the Class of 1901 when Bryn 
Mawr, having in 1907 a Dean again, appointed her to the place. She 
was one of Bryn Mawr's most distinguished Alumnae, in that office, 
as Director, and in her great services to the Alumnae Association. 

With some addition, the house was made ample enough for 
the uses and the kind of entertaining which were so much more 
congenial to Marion Park. In later years the Deanery was once more 
to be available for the President's larger occasions, but during a 
great deal of Miss Park's administration there were, here, with little 
appearance of effort, a succession of dinners, teas, meetings, break- 
fasts most particularly breakfasts and the entertainment of the 
distinguished guests and speakers who came to the College. Marga- 
ret Lord, Marion Park's friend who came to live with her there, 
an able and delightful hostess in herself, "made it all possible/' as 
Marion Park has said. 

The receptions for the seniors, gay and friendly under James 
Rhoads, gorgeous and rather alarmingly formal under Carey 
Thomas, now turned into gatherings that began with breakfast 
and lasted long after, in a babel of discussion and good talk. The 
spring Faculty party which included all the Faculty children has 
come to be an institution looked forward to for weeks ahead by the 
very young population bordering the campus. The quality of en- 
tertainment at Pen-y-Groes was, and continues to be, a full ex- 
pression of a relation between President and students very different 
from that which an older and more formal academic etiquette had 
seemed to demand everywhere. 

Members of the Faculty, of the administrative staff, of the 
student body, after one interview, thought of Marion Park as a 



friend, which she was. Combined with this quality of warmth she 
had, as part of her inheritance, a cool judgment, a capacity for 
rapid and true analysis of a problem or a situation, while there was 
within her an arrow of integrity which pointed always and steadily 
toward the right of a matter as she conceived it. And there was, 
beneath everything, a strong, courageous wisdom which deepened 
and strengthened as she and the College stood more and more in 
need of it. There was the fullest necessity for these qualities, for 
from the very beginning, she found herself launched into deep and 
uncharted waters. 

No one can forget how those wonderful changes toward mak- 
ing a better world, which should come with victory in World War I, 
failed to materialize. Changes there were, to a dizzy and bewil- 
dering degree, but not the ones which had been so earnestly 
looked for. A peace, long discussed, which satisfied nobody, neither 
victors nor vanquished, was the first disillusionment. And follow- 
ing the peace came extraordinary world conditions, unexplainable 
until afterward which political and economic science had not 
foreseen nor for which, for a time, could they suggest any sort of 

Within the College itself, the rapid expansion during the first 
two Administrations and in the initial thirty-seven years called very 
plainly now for a period of consolidation and final assaying of every 
one of the extended measures, in every one of the new depart- 
ments, in the large experiments of Self-Government and of the 
Graduate School. It was a time of trial and testing which proved 
to be crucial indeed. 

With that spirit of conscientious New England which Marion 
Park had brought, there was also the New England of the town 
meeting, of the small and complete democracy of a designated com- 
munity, where good stiff minds meet together to discuss and give 
one another fair play no matter how great is the divergence of 
point of view. Democracy stands for an ideal in every American 
mind, but it is true that New Englanders have perhaps the most 
thorough and practical course of training in how to carry it out. 
It is hardly possible that the complicated but deeply required 
changes with which the College was then confronted could have 
been completed successfully or have achieved wholehearted ac- 


ceptance by any other than the democratic process. This Marion 
Park was wise enough to see, and to suffer the word in this con- 
nection having true significance. There is no one who can say 
that those first years for her were easy. 

Not only the changing times, but other reasons made an altera- 
tion in the curriculum undeniably due. The old plan of a double 
major, two subjects inexorably yoked together, to which was added 
a list of required courses which filled an entire two years* work, had 
been an inflexible and efficient plan. It had stiffened that spear- 
head of achievement with which Carey Thomas had attacked the 
entrenched public opinion hostile to women's education. Argu- 
ment in that quarter was now no longer necessary and it was time 
for different methods. But the way was neither plain nor easy. The 
Faculty had their Plan of Government, but they may have felt some- 
what insecure about its full recognition by a new President, may 
have been unconsciously jealous of their rights. Innovations were 
in order, yes, but they seemed to find it difficult to approve any of 
those offered. A Curriculum Committee had gone at once to work, 
but plan after plan was reported, demolished in Faculty discus- 
sion and returned for further study. Marion Park made no outward 
protest, although those who knew her best were aware of how 
strongly she felt that some of the discussed changes were pressingly 

Meanwhile there was another major problem to absorb her 
attention, to partake of her wisdom and good sense. The behavior 
of the students in the Halls of Residence was becoming, to a cer- 
tain extent, open to criticism, such criticism as a college, always 
the focal point of public observation, can ill afford to incur. It 
was not easy to see then, although it is clear enough now, that 
the particular set of students who had come to college age in the 
years of the early and middle 1920*5 could scarcely remember 
any other atmosphere than the high-pitched emotionalism of the 
war period and the almost equally high-pitched tension of the in- 
flationary years which were following it. The unexpected and de- 
fiant response of society to the attempt to introduce prohibition 
had confused the picture of proper law and order still more. 

Quite aside from this, there had been the natural and steady 
development of a newer code of behavior, of manners, considered 


in their widest sense as the outward aspect of any society. Since it 
was the young who had to bear the true and dreadful burden of 
carrying out the war, it was the young who claimed the right to 
establish standards now. Many matters stemming from the arti- 
ficial customs of the Victorian age were passing into oblivion, 
among them that abstract but obstructionist figure, Mrs. Grundy. 
All this was true everywhere and was giving rise, in the women's 
colleges particularly, to problems many and acute. 

By the middle 1920*5 it was undeniable that the spirit had 
largely gone out of Self-Government, with a strong tendency toward 
the Association's rules being little implemented or observed. A 
large portion of the students seemed to regard the whole privilege 
of Self-Government with careless indifference. Yet an alert and en- 
terprising few were searching for the causes of failure and the 
means of improvement. It had to be asked whether Self-Govern- 
ment, once hailed as so important a step in the development 
of education, had really shown itself to be an impractical idea, as 
many doubters had declared in the beginning. Was it bound, after 
the first enthusiasm had spent itself, to become ineffectual and dis- 
regarded? Or was it true that, like other human institutions, it had 
to go through a period of trial to prove itself capable and worthy 
of surviving? 

Marion Park, the first President who was an alumna of the 
College, and once undergraduate head of Self-Government herself, 
realized how serious the situation could become, since a system so 
disregarded was not only no safeguard, but a menace* Yet she for- 
bore to use her authority or to interfere, though she was open to 
consultation always with those who understood, with her, that 
such a situation could not and should not continue. 

There were examination of old rules and intensive considera- 
tion of new ones. The regulation forbidding smoking anywhere on 
the campus or in the neighborhood had been on the books since 
1897. With it had survived various insistencies on strict chaperon- 
age, close requirement as to the hours of return from social occa- 
sions, overconservative regulations as to dress on the campus. The 
matter of smoking was, of course, the question most violently ar- 
gued. Marion Park came forward suddenly, not with an act of in- 
terference, but with a public announcement. 


"The regulations of the Self-Government Association" she de- 
clared, "have been based on the public opinion of the moment. 
Such public opinion is controlled in larger matters by conscience 
and in lesser by convention." A total prohibition of smoking, she 
pointed out, did not, in this day, depend either on conscience or 
convention. "I agree . . . that no democracy can keep on its books 
a regulation . . . that no longer rests solidly on intelligent public 

The courage and good sense of this statement were criticized 
in some quarters, applauded in others. The New York Times, in 
an editorial commending it, observed that "a statute manifestly per- 
verse brings in question all law/' A sigh of relief went up from 
the other women's colleges; intelligent public opinion was indeed 
with her. 

Frances Jay, the President of the Self-Government Association, 
a descendant of the great jurist and partaking of his ability, had 
been the moving force in trying for a solution of the whole difficult 
problem. She now called a mass meeting and put the question 
boldly, "Should Self-Government be abolished?" The body of the 
students, come to their senses at last, rejected the possibility with 
emphasis and a single dissentient vote. One unreasonable prohibi- 
tion and a half-dozen slightly old-fashioned rulings were the basis, 
not for accepted failure, but for considered reform. Restrictions 
were put upon smoking as to where it was and was not permissible; 
a new set of social regulations was compiled, and the whole laid 
before the Directors for approval. They were accepted in the same 
liberal and confident spirit that the first ones had been. There was 
to be another crisis, of a similar sort, brought by another war, but 
that was still years away. 

Smoking for women, in such general use now that its practice 
is only a matter of personal taste and opinion, was still an object 
of doubt and misgiving for some time. Yet Bryn Mawr had recog- 
nized the truth that its presence was an accomplished fact and could 
not be regarded as anything else. The other women's colleges, debat- 
ing what to do, but not quite ready to act when Bryn Mawr did, 
followed quickly, Vassar in the following spring and the others of 
the Eastern women's colleges in the next year. 

The temporary indifference concerning Self-Government was 


replaced quickly by renewed interest and confidence. But there had 
arisen, meanwhile, a question of a very different kind. The possi- 
bilities of change were everywhere; new opportunities were bur- 
geoning and everyone wanted to see them fulfilled. Was it going to 
be possible to carry out all plans and still keep up all those earlier 
established? Searching eyes were everywhere; some people's fell and 
remained in lingering doubt on the Graduate School. 

It was among the Alumnae that the question first arose. There 
had been, from time to time in the past, little gusts of doubt as to 
whether it was quite practical to carry the graduate work forward 
Indefinitely, so heavy was its cost to the College in comparison with 
the teaching of the undergraduates. Such whispers died away before 
the certain knowledge that Carey Thomas would never give it up, no 
matter what danger might threaten the finances. But under the new 
Plan of Government the matter was not so simple and, technically 
speaking, the President's was not the final word. Curiously, also, 
the Graduate School had no spokesman of its own, to represent it 
before the Faculty, if discussions concerning it were to arise. Now it 
began to be asked by certain Alumnae more and more definitely, 
Was this portion of Bryn Mawr's make-up really essential? The high 
cost resulted from the number of students, small by deliberate pol- 
icy, who were accepted for graduate study. A definite proportion 
of them were supported by fellowships, which came from the in- 
come of the College, not from any foundation or special funds to 
carry them. Graduate instruction occupied a third of the time of 
the most highly paid portion of the teaching staff. So persistent 
were the queries that the Executive Board of the Alumnae Associa- 
tion took cognizance of them and asked its Academic Committee, in 
1925, to devote the next year to making a full study of the Grad- 
uate School and its affairs. A member of that committee was Eu- 
nice Schenck of the Class of 1907, head of the French Department, 
with no official office in regard to the Graduate School, but its ear- 
nest advocate, none the less. Two more whose work was of great 
value were Josephine Goldmark, 1898 and Frances Fincke Hand, 
1897, both of whom have given great services to the College in other 
ways. The results of this study were to go extremely far. 

Through all the years, the Graduate School had been the 


great pride of Carey Thomas who had done so much and with such 
farseeing purpose to bring it as quickly as possible into its full use- 
fulness. From the moment that she was appointed Dean, she took it 
for granted that it would be a definite and organized part of the 
general plan, nor had there ever been a word of doubt or hesita- 
tion on the part of the Trustees or President Rhoads. She had not 
rested until she had got established a fellowship in every depart- 
ment, to ensure the nucleus of a research group, and to guarantee 
material for instruction. The European Fellowship, for graduate re- 
search and study abroad, awarded to the undergraduate with the 
best final record, had been set up for the very first graduating class* 
When there was to be a new appointment to the Faculty, the appli- 
cant was always considered as to whether ultimately he or she 
would be capable of giving graduate courses. 

The first circular of the College, sent out by Joseph Taylor's 
Trustees, had repeated in somewhat vague terms that "Teachers 
who desire to perfect themselves in one or more branches of learn- 
ing . . . may be admitted if they give satisfactory evidence of schol- 
arship and good character. They must, however, show exemplary 
diligence and devotion to study." The second circular, with Carey 
Thomas behind it, made it entirely clear that these advanced op- 
portunities were open to all who wished to pursue scholarship in 
any established field and that they constituted real graduate study. 
Authority was given by the State to the College to grant the M.A. 
and Ph.D. degrees, and in the second year of its history Bryn Mawr 
undergraduates saw the impressive process of admitting a candidate 
into "the ancient and universal body of scholars." Through the 
forty years of the life of the College, students of the Graduate 
School, hailing from every state, from Canada, from Europe, from 
Japan and China, had studied at Bryn Mawr and had carried 
Bryn Mawr training into the widest reaches of the educational world. 
They had supplied Bryn Mawr with a President; they had furnished 
deans and full professors to many other institutions; they had sent 
their own students, both graduate and undergraduate, back to the 
College to which they felt they owed so much. Further, by sheer 
proof of their own ability and training, they had shown, the world 
over, what class and kind of real learning had been administered to 


them. On many listings of educational institutions, Bryn Mawr, 
with her limited numbers and her narrow endowment, none the 
less ranked, and with right, as a university. 

It was true that the very large proportion of the undergradu- 
ates took surprisingly little note of the Graduate School, being so 
absorbingly occupied with their own affairs. Thus many of the 
Alumnae had left with small realization of what that portion of 
the College was doing. To some of them, loyal as they were as they 
went about their earnest work of supporting the College, it seemed 
a little absurd to see a full professor spending so definite a part of 
his time on a handful of students, sometimes hardly more than one 
or two. A business organization would not suffer such an unsound 
arrangement for a moment. Might it not be that Bryn Mawr was 
too small, her endowments too limited, to be able to balance such 
an uneven distribution of the weight of teaching cost? 

And it began to be further urged that the necessity for a 
women's graduate school no longer existed, since all the great uni- 
versities had at last opened their doors to women working for 
higher degrees, where wider facilities were offered, a greater variety 
of courses, a broader choice among professors as specialists. But 
there could have been, Inside each one of these questioners, a still 
small voice to inquire, "Just what led the universities to discover 
that women were worth higher training, the very highest that could 
be given?" 

The situation, with all its Implications, was acutely clear to 
Eunice Schenck who did the major part of the work on the com- 
mittee's study and its report. Her undergraduate life, her three 
degrees and her teaching experience had all been under the aus- 
pices of Bryn Mawr, with further study in France to compare with 
that which she had received at home. She was fully aware of the 
value and power of Bryn Mawr's graduate instruction, and what it 
meant to the College and to education as a whole. 

The Committee made a thorough study of the Graduate School 
records and also sent out a questionnaire to all former graduate 
students, asking for a statement as to what their work had been 
since taking their degrees and what they felt that the Bryn Mawr 
training had done for them. The resulting report, with its facts, 
statistics, and its interpretations, was sent to the President, the 


Faculty, and broadcast to the Alumnae through their Bulletin. 

It touched briefly on the past, and showed, without so stating 
it definitely, how, while Bryn Mawr had extended women's oppor- 
tunity for undergraduate education, it had actually taken funda- 
mental part in the founding of women's graduate work in America. 
It did not deny that the Graduate School was costly, but its worth 
to the College was assessed and made evident. Its students, on an 
average through the years, made up, in fact, a fifth of the College, 
amounting to what one could consider as an extra class. While all 
the professors were always called upon to teach in the general un- 
dergraduate courses, the graduates had their vested right to their 
own proportion of teaching time. 

And what did the Graduate School return to the College? The 
careful analyses of those lifeless tables of statistics revealed the 
extent, the high honor and influence of those positions attained by 
the accepted scholars who had stepped from the Bryn Mawr plat- 
form each with an M.A. or a Ph.D. degree and set out into the 
greater world to be deans, full professors, leaders and discoverers in 
the field of research. Their application of method, their contribu- 
tions to the sum of learning, their able administration in such 
varied situations gave a vision and a promise to prospective stu- 
dents of what they would find at Bryn Mawr. It could be seen that,, 
in large share, it was due to their standing and their prestige that 
Bryn Mawr could continue, year after year, to demand that those 
applicants for entrance to the graduate and undergraduate schools 
should be students of the highest kind of intelligence and intellec- 
tual ambition, and that such should continually be found. 

When set beside those greater institutions which had lately 
come to accept women for higher degrees, small Bryn Mawr could 
still offer in comparison some very distinct advantages of her own. 
She had an excellent and adequate Faculty, with the whole of it at 
all times available to the graduate students. And one after another, 
until the answer was practically universal, the former graduate stu- 
dents declared that in small classes, which the College was still gen- 
erous enough to support, they felt that they got the largest returns 
for their efforts. There was constant consultation with their pro- 
fessors, who partook wholeheartedly, every one of them, of the Col- 
lege's policy of generous interest in every student's undertakings. 


There was the student's opportunity and thrilling experience of 
entering fully on her own original work, the feeling that, having 
chosen the profession of scholarship, she was being treated already 
as a scholar. There was the knowledge of becoming a part, even 
though a very small one, of that wide field of human endeavor 
in the advance of learning. All these were of immeasurable value 
to her. Perhaps the most able summary was that of one student 
who said that she would remember always "the splendid vision of 

The report, while it took no direct note of the questions and 
doubts which had called it forth, answered all the queries and laid 
the doubts to rest. That should have been enough for the Alum- 
nae's project to have set forth, but actually it accomplished a very 
great deal more. Those members of the College itself, from Marion 
Park downward, saw in it far more than simply a vindication. It 
made clear that the graduate work was really in an anomalous posi- 
tion, with no center of its own for consultation and direction; in- 
stead its policies were in the hands of a set of committees acting 
under the Academic Council of the College. It was most obviously 
high time for something more. 

Marion Park acted promptly by making Eunice Schenck her 
special representative on the Faculty and for advice to students for 
the Graduate School. The two of them together, with the advice 
and support of the Faculty, set out on a program of reorganization 
and rehabilitation which was to make the status of graduate affairs 
solid and final. In 1929 the Graduate School was set up with full 
organization of its own and with a Dean of the Graduate School 
who was, most appropriately, Eunice Schenck. She declined the 
presidency of another college to accept this office from Bryn Mawr. 

With her appointment went a new and drastic step in the deci- 
sion to abandon Carey Thomas's often attempted purpose of hav- 
ing graduates and undergraduates live together in the same halls 
in 'little republics of letters." Such an arrangement might have 
been possible abroad in connection with the formal old universities, 
but here in exuberant and uninhibited America it had no practical- 
ity at all. The graduate students, settled here and there in the 
various dormitories, even when they had a wing nominally to 
themselves, complained bitterly of the noise made by the younger 


students, who In turn, were certain that graduates existed only to 
interfere with the pleasant hours of recreation. There was cer- 
tainly much that each group could get from the other, but an in- 
superable barrier seemed to be set up between them by the different 
objects of their interest and by their different hours of concentrated 
study. Even now, so many years after, It does not seem that the full 
way has yet been found to make each branch of Bryn Mawr's aca- 
demic life get the true advantage of living and working in the 
presence of the other. But certainly the move then made was to 
the real benefit of all. 

By one of those inexplicable processes which drift across a 
college's well designed arrangements, Radnor, the second dormitory 
in point of age, had fallen into being an asylum to those students 
who had not found places of their choice in one of the other halls, 
It had rooms of a better size than Merlon, its older sister, and a 
more pleasant exposure. To the graduate students, who, it was now 
decided, were to be brought to live there together, it seemed a 
beautiful haven where they could carry out their own kind of life 
and where, happily, for a few years it was practical for their Dean 
to occupy an apartment in the same building. Here they could dis- 
cuss their own subjects, get full stimulation from those who had 
come to Bryn Mawr on the same serious quest, including particu- 
larly those increasing numbers of foreign students to whom the 
College was reaching out. Here could flourish their own organiza- 
tion, the Graduate Club, which partook of some of the nature of 
the Undergraduate Association but also carried the responsibility 
of Self-Government. People invited to their entertainments or to 
dine in the hall could vouch for what gracious hostesses they made 
and how full of salt and savor was the conversation along the tables. 

Changes in the character of the work went on more slowly, 
covering an extended period of years, taking up, as it were, where 
the new phases of the undergraduate curriculum ended and deliv- 
ered a new sort of candidate to the Graduate School. When the 
altered requirements for, first the Ph.D. degree and then the M.A. 
were discussed, Eunice Schenck called in an advisory committee 
of students of which Katharine McBride was one. The plans were 
liberalized, made more flexible, with greater stress on independent 
study and research from first-hand material, and less on settled 


courses and seminars Bryn Mawr has always called them semi- 
naries. As time has gone on, the opportunities opened by gifts to 
the College, such as, in particular, the grant for coordinated study 
of the sciences, and by special fellowships for special research, 
could always be embraced by a Graduate School thoroughly organ- 
ized and prepared to take advantage of them. 

Good years followed, especially those when Dean Schenck 
could be in residence, an arrangement which, unfortunately, was 
not possible after a certain lapse of time. Her lively and construc- 
tive interest in the students was always available to them, however, 
even after she lived elsewhere on the campus; her planning for the 
Graduate School was continuous, her vision always wide. She never 
lost the warmth of enthusiasm which is sometimes a casualty of the 
rigors of scholastic life. 

In the end, other matters drew her inexorably away from 
standing longer at the head of the graduate work, and at the begin- 
ning of World War II she resigned, to devote herself entirely to the 
continuing and defending of the understanding of France by 
America, in a dark hour when invaded France was understood by 
few. She had long worked in the spirit of that understanding, 
throughout her work as head of the French Department which she 
had carried along with her duties as Dean. The French Govern- 
ment recognized her important services by making her, in 1929, 
"'Officier d* Academic," and, in 1934, by bestowing on her the Cross 
of the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. 

Her place was taken by Lily Ross Taylor, a Bryn Mawr Ph.D., 
head of the Latin Department and a scholar of more than na- 
tional reputation. She was an able administrator and possessed 
of the full ability, so necessary in such an office, to understand and 
give good counsel. Under their hands, the organization of the Grad- 
uate School advanced steadily further, through the prosperous 
years, through the stringent time of the Depression years when 
funds were low, and through the war period when good graduate 
students were diverted by the demands of Government depart- 
ments, by commercial laboratories and by research projects. Per- 
haps the greatest work of all that these two Deans accomplished 
was the choosing and receiving and the helping to adjust to a 
new life of those youthful fugitives who came out of the dark spirit- 


ual caverns of invaded Europe and Asia, of making them see that 
there still existed a peaceful world, globe-encircling still, the world 
of scholarship. 

In all that had gone forward Marion Park had taken her full 
part in advice, support and steady confidence. "It all came about 
quite naturally," she likes to say of any signal achievement of her 
administration and resulting from her policy. Natural the advance 
of the Graduate School may have been, beginning with the initia- 
tion of the study asked for by the Alumnae Association; but natural 
progress here was accompanied, on the part of several people, by a 
good measure of stalwart wisdom. 

Chapter XI 


The fabric of a college's history is run through by separate threads 
which often must be followed consecutively to make for a clear 
record and show a final end. The account of the Graduate School 
has been thus given complete, even though the process of its reor- 
ganization extended through the twenties and the thirties. It is 
now necessary to return to the beginning of another series of signif- 
icant events and their resulting, but not always predictable, 
development. As those who follow educational history well know, 
large and most unexpected consequences can follow a small pre- 
liminary step, this being most emphatically true in the record of 
Bryn Mawr's acquisition of a Music Department. 

The founding Quaker fathers, in whose own lives music 
meant nothing, had not considered such an item in the original cur- 
riculum. Early Alumnae will still remember how, even after there 
began to be a choir at Miss Thomas's daily chapel service, there 
was, for a long time, no instrument permitted to accompany the 
singing. Even the having of a piano in the gymnasium to keep 
marching undergraduates in step was most seriously debated by the 
Trustees and firmly resisted by some of them. But with the advent 
of the Directors came a greater interest in the use of music, and in 
time, therefore, the gymnasium had its piano and the chapel ac- 
quired a tuneless melodeon. And toward the end of President 
Thomas's administration a serious discussion began as to whether 
the College should not have a Department of Music. 

The students were asking earnestly for one, and the first prac- 
tical step was taken by an undergraduate who gave anonymously 


$5,000 as a preliminary move toward an endowment. But as the 
needs were examined, the number of them and their cost rolled 
up to alarming proportions. There must be research material call- 
ing for a large and very different addition to the resources of the 
Library; there must be space for lectures with means for presenting 
illustrative music; there must, in the end, be facilities for giving 
concerts, and room for the College orchestra which would, by nat- 
ural process, grow out of the undertaking. The dreary little row of 
rooms in the basement of Pembroke East, designated for students' 
piano practice, was the meager and only token of all that would be 
required. But student desire continued to be strong, and the inde- 
fatigable Alumnae took up the challenge. 

A group of them in New York, under the leadership of Alice 
Carter Dickerman, of the Class of 1899, gathered a committee and 
pledged sufficient annual income to support the undertaking for an 
experimental four years. Thus the new venture came into being in 
1921, with, as its sole sum of possessions, two pianos and a half 
dozen books. It had, however, Horace Alwyne, supposedly Assistant 
Director and even from the beginning the real heart and soul of 
the enterprise which has so grown and vindicated itself in all these 
ensuing years under his guidance. The appointed Director was 
Thomas Whitney Surette, who was to come down from Boston every 
week to carry on the principal courses. But the arrangement of time 
proved to be impractical for him, so that it was actually Horace 
Alwyne under whose hand most of the instruction went forward. 
Very shortly he became the official Director. The Music Department, 
with its courses, its attendant choruses, orchestra, operas and con- 
certs, has been under his superintendence ever since. 

Because there was absolutely no inch of space anywhere on the 
campus to harbor this new department, it was decided to rent the 
studio of Wyndham, home of the Ely family, the beautiful old stone 
house across the road from Pembroke. It had once been the owner's 
residence on that farm of which Joseph Taylor had bought the 
greater part for his new College. After some years of this rental ar- 
rangement, the Ely property came upon the market for sale and, al- 
though the College had not the funds to buy it, the Alumnae were 
determined that it should on no account slip through Bryn Mawr's 
fingers. They urged its purchase on borrowed money, and promised 



to underwrite the interest until funds could be raised to pay the 

Its coming into the possession of the College was the beginning 
of several interesting uses, for soon the Music Department outgrew 
the studio and went on into far more extensive plans. It may be 
said, to complete the account of Wyndham, that for some years it 
received the overflow of freshmen when there was a dearth of space 
in the dormitories. Finally it reached its perfect use and has become 
the French House, where the students contend for the privilege of 
living, under pledge to speak only French among themselves, and 
where distinguished guests and lecturers are glad to be invited. The 
accomplishing of this arrangement and the gracious scheme of 
living which was here set up were the work of Eunice Schenck with 
her helpers in the French Department. 

"We are interested not just in spoken French but in ideas as 
well/* was her statement of policy concerning the French House, 
which her successors have been happy to continue. And once a year 
Wyndham becomes the setting for the seniors' Garden Party when, 
with its sweeps of lawn and great trees, it offers the ideal back- 
ground for the gay dresses, the proud parents, the equally proud 
but slightly uneasy fiances, the host of congratulatory friends and 
all the truly gala atmosphere of this last day before graduation. 

The New York Alumnae Committee carried the expenses of 
the Music Department through the promised four years. Then, see- 
Ing by its unqualified success that it ought surely to become an in- 
tegral part of the College, they laid a proposal before the Alumnae 
Association as a whole, suggesting, in 1925, a campaign for funds 
which would ensure an endowed professorship in the field of music, 
as a basis for continuing something which had so thoroughly proved 
itself to be of great value. It is interesting to note, from this point 
forward, how, where wise and determined people are concerned, 
one thing can lead to another to a surprising but reasonable degree. 
A fully equipped Music Department should have an audito- 
rium of at least a respectable size for the giving of student concerts 
and for bringing real musical events to the College. But Bryn Mawr 
had always needed something far more than that, for one of her 
most heroic economies had been in the matter of proper meeting 
space. The very day that the College opened it was plain that the 


only central gathering place, the chapel In Taylor Hall, was hope- 
lessly inadequate for a general audience. No one doubts it who can 
recall the packed and breathless Commencements with half the 
spectators in a back room where they could see nothing and hear 
but little more, with Taylor's rigorous interior architecture only 
slightly softened by the tremendous rope of daisies which the de- 
voted members of the Sophomore Class had been working on since 
two in the morning of Commencement Day. "How excellent it is to 
think of all those daisies having been removed from the fields!" one 
practical owner of an estate was heard to exclaim, thoroughly miss- 
ing the aesthetic note which was actually not in very close harmony 
with the style of building which Francis King had specified must be 
of such Quaker plainness. 

The building of the new gymnasium in 1909 came to the rescue 
of those overcrowded Commencements; here the stage was larger 
and a greater number of rows of hard-bottomed chairs could be 
squeezed together on the wide but completely flat floor. The Ac- 
ademic Procession, walking from the Library down between the 
lines of maple trees of Senior Row, had as picturesque a setting as 
it had later when passing under the vaulted arch of Rockefeller's 
Owl Gate. The platform in the old chapel had hardly seemed more 
than of the proper size to hold Miss Thomas and Dr. Barton com- 
fortably at the morning exercises, but it was called upon too often 
to do far more. In the gymnasium, the stage, set up only when oc- 
casion demanded, offered more room, but never enough. Yet here, 
for sixteen years, the graduations, with their steadily growing num- 
ber of students and Faculty, had to be held. Then, in 1924, State 
fire laws laid down such restrictions that neither the second-floor 
chapel nor the gymnasium with its narrow entrances could ever be 
used again to contain the number of people who had the right to 
witness a Bryn Mawr Commencement. 

Student dramatics, which had not attained much impetus 
during President Rhoads f s administration, had begun to press for- 
ward during that of Carey Thomas. She had a full appreciation of 
dramatic art, nor was she blind to the fact that young actors, with 
the right material and setting, could reach very high levels. But she 
felt instinctively that the very real zeal with which the students 
threw themselves into such ventures was an interruption to their 


precious studying time, and tended toward that dreaded possibility 
of lowering the standard. But to certain established plays of the 
year she always came and gave a criticism of performance and per- 
formers afterward in chapel. There is a letter preserved, written in 
1913 by her assistant Isabel Maddison, telling the President that 
she, Miss Maddison, had had "a difference of opinion with the 
Junior Class over their Banner Show." She declared, "They wanted 
to paint a house but I have absolutely stopped that." They were to 
be allowed to have some old scenery, "to hang at the back," al- 
though Miss Maddison was obviously very much afraid that the 
President would not approve. Carey Thomas's reply, written on the 
margin of the letter was, "We can let this stand but it is, I fear, 

The first gymnasium, where all the early dramatic efforts were 
presented, had a stage with one curious inadequacy there was 
great danger of falling off it. The temporary structure was such 
that it could not be built back against the walls. It was nothing 
unusual for a performer in a student drama or opera to disappear 
suddenly with a crash, having stepped unwarily too close to the 
curtained edge and plunged into the void behind. In both old and 
new gymnasiums it was the case that, since the real use of the build- 
ing was for very different things, the stage could only be erected at 
the last minute and there was opportunity for only one rehearsal 
complete with scenery, curtain and footlights. Under Marion Park, 
under professors who realized that one of the best ways to begin to 
understand a great playwright was to act him, dramatics went for- 
ward with increasing and happy success. But even in 1925 there 
was still lacking one thing more that was needed beyond acting and 
directing talent, the modest adjunct of a stage. 

All these matters were discussed in Alumnae consultation with 
Directors and Administration; and suddenly it was suggested that, 
besides combining the requirements of the Music Department and 
its need for funds with the real necessity of a full-sized auditorium, 
there could be added another factor, the long-standing project for 
a Students' Building. The very earliest of the Bryn Mawr classes 
had talked of this possibility of a building of their own, constructed 
out of their own funds, to house their own extracurricular activities. 
Entertainments had been given to raise money for it; the first big 


May Day, the festival of Elizabethan plays and dances, was per- 
formed for its benefit. It was a perennial interest and a perennial 
Incentive to the students to make what contribution they could to 
something which was to be entirely theirs. So nebulous a project 
was it, however, that many more definite ones had intervened and 
the fund grew only by bits and dribbles. In 1908 it was said to be 
about $20,000 and was between f 20,000 and $30,000 by 1920. And 
here, all at once, was a chance to bring this long-standing project 
to its completion by combining it with the other needs. By adding 
the students* wing to the proposed building now being considered, 
the cherished object could at last be attained. Then one more ele- 
ment came into the waiting situation which might otherwise have 
waited far longer: benevolence of a true and most effective sort. 

Marjorie Walter Goodhart was the youngest member of the 
Class of 1912, quiet, generous, hard-studying, deeply interested in 
history, and graduating brilliantly at the age of twenty. She was 
soon married, was mother of 1912*5 Class baby and later, in 1920, 
died of that devastating postwar influenza which was so specially 
deadly to young mothers. A small and friendly minded college 
is an excellent place for a shy person, as many others have learned 
to know. Marjorie Walter experienced at Bryn Mawr that un- 
qualified happiness which loyal Alumnae like to think is one of 
the particular things which the College has to give, although it can- 
not always succeed so fully. She was able to pass on to her husband 
the knowledge of that happiness, so that, after she was gone, 
Howard Goodhart set himself to honor and cherish the place which 
had given her so much. Her class had taken up the project of es- 
tablishing in her memory a Chair of European History, which was 
quickly accomplished with the assistance of her husband. It was by 
means of a further gift from Howard Goodhart and his family that 
it was possible to set about building what was to be called Marjorie 
Walter Goodhart Hall. 

Those who knew Howard Goodhart well found him unforget- 
table, a person in whom high ability in financial fields was com- 
bined with brilliance of scholarship in the region of his special in- 
terests. Book collecting was his hobby, the rare volumes of the very 
early days of printing, the incunabula which were being sought and 
gathered in the great libraries of the world. He was generous even 


in this absorbing pursuit and liked to bring together those o his 
friends who knew and loved books. No one will ever know the sum 
of his gifts, large and small, the special salaries underwritten, the 
books and dissertations published for those who could ill afford it 
themselves, the encouragement, recognition and untiring kindness 
to young scholars. 

After the death of Walter Cope, Lockwood De Forest, who had 
been associated with him, had supervised the designing of the gym- 
nasium, built in 1910, and the 1905 Infirmary, given by that Class 
and opened in 1913. A subsidiary architect had overseen the actual 
work on these two. In 1924 there had been appointed, as the Col- 
lege's supervising architect, Ralph Adams Cram, of Boston. He had 
made an elaborate plan for Bryn Mawr's campus of the future, with 
one of his most emphatically urged items the tearing down of 
Taylor Hall and putting up a substitute elsewhere, a project 
toward which the Directors had very definitely not seen their way. 
He was consulted concerning Goodhart, but said he could not hope 
to take part in the actual building, since he felt himself too old and 
at too great a distance. He suggested a younger man, Arthur Meigs, 
of Philadelphia, but he came to Bryn Mawr to take part in the pre- 
liminary discussions, chose the site and sat upon the committee 
which passed upon and accepted the submitted plans. Funds had 
been gathering for all three of the purposes involved; the extremely 
complicated interior plans had been reviewed again and again, and 
construction began in 1926. 

The building of Goodhart was attended by more delays, more 
bitter criticism and, one can truly claim, more ultimate satisfaction 
in achieved purpose than any other project which the history of the 
College had yet produced. The sloping site, chosen by necessity be- 
cause the building had to be upon a public road, offered more dif- 
ficult construction problems than could have been foreseen. While 
they were being solved, prices skyrocketed, result of the inflationary 
years. Yet Arthur H. Thomas, Chairman of the Buildings and 
Grounds Committee, pushed the work courageously forward. 

Marion Park had earlier offered the idea that the auditorium, 
the Students' Building and the Music Department were "all phases 
of a new trend in college life." The students 1 activities, over which 
they exercised their own enterprise and control, had grown greatly, 


as outcome of the vigorous individualism which was the reaction 
from World War I and its regimentations. The Music Department 
reflected change also, reaching out into the arts at great remove 
from the Quaker conservatism with which the College had begun. 

As the walls and roof took shape, the style of the building, ac- 
tually seen now for the first time, became the target for a barrage 
of conflicting comment, high in intensity at the time, slow to die 
away. No one could ever do again just what Walter Cope had done 
with Denbigh, Pembroke, Rockefeller and the Library, with his own 
variation of Jacobean Gothic. The gymnasium had not achieved 
the same dignity and individualism. Yet continuous following, 
through thick and thin, of an established style could well be over- 
done, especially when regarded by the eyes of a young and shifting 
college population. But a change of style and Arthur Meigs's en- 
try on a different style of Gothic was a very bold one is always at- 
tended by some doubt, much misgiving and a vast variety of 

At the end of 1927 when the building was nearing com- 
pletion, every organization of the College, every class in the Alum- 
nae Association, threw itself into the task of final fulfillment, some 
underwriting the great studded doors, some the huge wrought-iron 
lamps, the seats for the auditorium, or the furniture for the Com- 
mon Room where the students were to have their own smaller 
lectures, their own meetings and discussions. There was space in the 
students' wing and good provision for other interests, especially for 
all that intensive toil which goes by the name of extracurricular ac- 
tivity. The College News, the departmental clubs, the meetings of 
the League, the Alliance, all were to have headquarters there. The 
Music Room, where most of the classes were held and all but the 
very large religious gatherings took place, was of excellent propor- 
tions and was enhanced, presently, by the donation of a fine organ. 
The Music Wing, with its offices and practice rooms, looking out 
over the green valley below the hill, had privacy and, for a time 
at least, sufficient room for its own operations. 

A college auditorium has its own problems, and with all the as- 
sorted needs which entered into this combined undertaking there 
were resulting but unexpected errors. The main idea of the whole 
plan had begun with music to go with the music courses. Leopold 


Stokowski came himself to give advice, and his weighty influence 
had gone far in shaping the plans. Most serious of all was the diffi- 
culty with acoustics, the problems of which were not, at that time, 
reduced to as exact a science as they are now. But the introduction 
of amplifiers, also then unknown, has gone far toward remedying 
this drawback, and there is still left that immense airiness afforded 
by the tremendous roof above. Student scene shifters have learned 
to make the most of the backstage accommodations of winches and 
windlasses and swinging platforms to carry the scenery, and the 
actors rejoice in the ample room of the great stage. 

In 1928 Goodhart was finished. It was music which had in- 
augurated the original idea; music was the balancing need which 
had set the whole project in motion. It was music, therefore, which 
celebrated its opening. Leopold Stokowski, close friend of the archi- 
tect, came with the Philadelphia Orchestra; the warm rose color of 
the thousand seats disappeared under the billowing finery of the 
choicest and most discriminating of audiences, and Goodhart Hall 
was open. 

When the first plans were being laid and the first announce- 
ments being sent out, Marion Park had added to them the declara- 
tion that Goodhart Hall would be an invaluable asset "not only to 
the College but to the community." Far more than anyone could 
have surmised or measured, that fact proceeded to prove itself true. 
Only now and then has there been put into words the realization 
of that strange gulf which, almost by inexorable process of nature, 
tends to grow up between a community and a college within it. 
Bryn Mawr had, in the neighborhood, some of the warmest, most 
loyal and generous of friends, but it was undeniable that public 
opinion as a whole tended to look down upon, even suspect or dread 
this institution which was in their midst without their invitation. 

The region was one in which conservative social custom stood 
perhaps as firmly entrenched as anywhere in the country. Parents 
felt insecure when their non-college-going daughters could, in those 
arguments familiar in every household, offer the plea that "the 
Bryn Mawr girls can do it." The Bryn Mawr girls made their own 
rules, and kept them, but there were many neighboring parents who 
doubted their ability to formulate a really orthodox code of behav- 
ior. It was believed, also, that a college which did not require 


chape! and church attendance must be godless. That the students 
had their own services and attended them in perhaps quite as con- 
scientious a proportion as did their neighbors was either unknown 
or unconsidered. Faculty members, it was reported, were given posi- 
tions without any questioning as to what were their political or 
religious opinions, a procedure which seemed to many to be rash, 
to say the least. A single indiscreet public utterance by one of them, 
reported in the press, could raise a storm which a year of self- 
restraint could not balance. It was all understandable, all a part of 
the process by which higher education, especially for women, 
seemed foreign to its own community and must make its way slowly 
to final acceptance and regard. 

When the doors of Goodhart were finally thrown open to those 
without the College as well as those within it, a change began to 
come about at once. As the great building came to exercise its true 
function, all the tribulations of its construction, all the small dis- 
appointments and the larger criticisms took their place as only 
minor details. It was delightful to have a place where those real 
friends of the College could be so freely invited. The brilliant 
audience assembled for the opening was in certain ways a his- 
toric gathering. 

With a fitting place, at last, for really large audiences, the Col- 
lege began to gather to itself the means for unusual occasions. The 
Mary Flexner Lectureship, set up in 1928 by Bernard Flexner in 
honor of his sister, brings to the College, approximately every year, 
some distinguished scholar in the humanities, who spends six weeks 
on the campus, holds a seminary for graduate students, meets for 
lectures and discussions with the undergraduates and, principally, 
gives a series of six public lectures to which all who are interested 
may freely come. It has grown to be one of the famous foundations 
of American education and has brought to Bryn Mawr, and to 
those who came to hear, Breasted, the foremost Egyptologist of his 
day, the philosopher Whitehead, Paul Hazard and Henri Peyre, 
masters of French literature, Ralph Vaughan Williams the com- 
poser, Arnold Toynbee, leader of his time and a most difficult 
time it has been in constructive historical theory. Each depart- 
ment in turn chooses a speaker in its own field and, though the very 
greatest have been invited, very few have declined. 



Matched with this plan was the Anna Howard Shaw Memorial 
Fund, established by subscription in honor of this great woman 
suffragist to whom Carey Thomas had been so warm a friend and so 
powerful an ally. These lectures were to be in the field of economics 
and politics and have set before the Bryn Mawr listeners such distin- 
guished women as Jane Addams, Judge Florence Allen and others 
of their caliber and kind. The Sheble Lecture, supported by an- 
other memorial fund, provides every year for the appearance of 
some important writer, and has brought among others, Robert 
Frost, William Butler Yeats and T. S. Eliot on the exciting eve of 
the announcement of his being granted the Nobel Prize in Lit- 
erature. Some of the greatest musical artists have sung or played 
upon that stage: Traubel, Kreisler, Menuhin, Marian Anderson. 

There is one more, less important, but still telling fact in this 
list of enlarged opportunities. The College was surrounded by a 
group of excellent girls' schools, and the parents, gathered for 
their daughters* white-gowned, flower-bedecked graduation, would 
read at the foot of the program, "Through the courtesy of Bryn 
Mawr College the exercises will be held in Goodhart Hall." As 
they looked about at the really noble setting which made the back- 
ground for their young people's great occasion, habitual preju- 
dices and distrusts began, perforce, to melt away. 

The College body itself could be accommodated in not many 
more than half the seats in Goodhart, but when T. S. Eliot spoke, 
or Toynbee, or Madame Pandit, people jammed the galleries, the 
windowsills and sat on the stone floor of the aisles. Outsiders who 
had caught glimpses through Pembroke Arch of girls running about 
in shorts or bluejeans now could see these same young persons, 
gracious-mannered and impeccably dressed, doing the honors as 
ushers. Such moments began to alter some basic errors about the 
ways of college students. And the Presidents of the College, standing 
up to welcome and introduce, became no longer mythical persons 
in the view of outsiders, but real people from whom it was impos- 
sible to withhold admiration and regard. Long study of the various 
means, long-extended action in this matter of real understanding 
of College and neighbors, have brought results slowly, as full sat- 
isfaction usually is brought. Although Pembroke and Rockefeller 
arches gave material access to the College from the world outside, 


the real way in has been through the great doors of Goodhart Hall. 

The years which followed its completion were beset by certain 
anxieties over the very large debt which it had left behind, owing to 
the increase in prices and the difficult terrain. Considering that it 
was actually three undertakings in one, its final cost does not 
seem now to have been startlingly excessive, but to those to whom 
it seemed too much of an innovation it was easy to wonder if it had 
not been a dangerous extravagance. The Directors courageously 
took on the burden of final payment. But when the work was quite 
finished and all the accounts in, Howard Goodhart again stepped 
forward. His means and those of Marjorie Walter's family were 
ample but not fabulous, and he now explained that they had 
wished to give the building entire when it was first needed but had 
not felt it to be possible. They would, however, take over the re- 
maining indebtedness and would pay it off in installments. This 
they proceeded to do by contributing a sum every year. 

In 1928 the Julius Goldman family presented $50,000 to Bryn 
Mawr on the occasion of their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They 
had also contributed three daughters, one of whom was Hetty 
Goldman, the distinguished archaeologist, one of the very few 
women members of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study. 
In the same year Howard Goodhart had instituted a custom more 
or less unique in the annals of benevolence, as a continuing pro- 
cedure. Whenever there was an anniversary of any kind in either 
the Walter or the Goodhart family, it was observed by an extra 
gift of securities to Bryn Mawr College. Even after full payment had 
been made on the Goodhart Hall debt, Howard Goodhart went on 
with his yearly contributions, sometimes to be applied to this need, 
sometimes to that one. The last of them went toward the purchase 
of West House. 

Meanwhile Goodhart Hall continued and still continues to 
carry out all of that for which it was intended. The efforts of the 
Alumnae raised funds to endow the Alice Carter Dickerman Chair 
of Music, and the Department has grown steadily in numbers and 
distinction. College members and guests flock in at the doors on the 
continually occurring occasions of hearing distinguished visitors or 
witnessing indigenous talent. For students, ever since its inception, 
Goodhart stands as part of the background of unassailable College 


scale, something capable of being defined and analyzed and against 
which protection and safeguards could in time be set up. 

At Bryn Mawr the rigorous economies were undergone with 
spirit and no lack of courage, for this was a College which had 
known stringent times before. It was hard to see the cherished build- 
ings falling into shabbiness, even the smooth grass growing shaggy. 
But inside the halls the spirit of gracious living still maintained it- 
self, even with many of its details shorn away. And the quality of 
the academic standard never faltered; it had come to be more fully 
appreciated now that it was more hardly bought. 

It was characteristic of the Alumnae that, since it was plain that 
there could now be no intensive raising of funds to mitigate the 
rigors of the times, they set themselves to work at a different proj- 
ect. With the Directors, they established two committees who were 
to consult together and work out a tabulation of the needs of the 
College, not the requirements of the moment but for its long-time 
development. James Rhoads had said to Carey Thomas in one of his 
letters long before, "When it shall appear that we are good 
stewards, more will come." The Alumnae felt convinced that the 
good stewardship had been plentifully proved and that, even be- 
yond the funds for the Music Department and Goodhart, the "more 
will come 1 ' could be fulfilled in time. 

Faculty salaries, which must keep pace with a rising cost of liv- 
ing, must have some settled source for steady increase. This they 
were sure was advisable and possible, even in the face of the fact 
that it might be necessary to reduce them now, as a measure born 
of the Depression. As the buildings became mellow and venerable, 
there must be some settled policy for keeping up the rising main- 
tenance cost on them; the process of aging was not wholly one of 
increasingly picturesque beauty. At a new and expanding rate it was 
the duty of colleges and universities to add to the sum of knowledge, 
but with those additions to learning came the need of greater 
library space, of longer lists of technical journals. Just as, earlier, 
Johns Hopkins University had been leader in the field of graduate 
study, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California 
Institute of Technology were now pressing forward the movement 
to develop to the full the scope of laboratory science. Both these 
advances Bryn Mawr had been keen to follow as best she could. 

Cornelia Otis Skinner as 
Queen Elizabeth on May 
Day, 1932 

(INS Photos) 

May Day at Bryn Mawr College, 1944 

(Wilbur Eoone} 

Class songs on May Day, 1951 

A group of student carolers 


Long ago she had delayed setting up her Physics Department until 
two years after the College opened because of a lack of the proper 
laboratory; she had been driven to compromises and makeshifts 
more than once, but the early belief in laboratory work, fostered by 
James Rhoads, had never been lost to sight. Now her scientific de- 
partments were attracting more and more attention and reputation, 
but that very success called for greater laboratory facilities. 

Over all these matters, over these needs there was long and 
careful deliberation. In the end was evolved the Seven Year Plan, 
notable for its completeness, its insight and its courage. Consider- 
ing the boldness with which it attacked the basic problem of the 
College's welfare, it was singularly free from errors, although not 
entirely devoid of them. Only experience can show, later, just what 
consequences arise from just what measures. 

There must be, they decided, a more extensive allowance for 
depreciation on the buildings, so stoutly constructed but inevitably 
showing signs of the passage of time. There must be still greater 
addition to the yearly income of the College, to take care of con- 
tinuing salary increases. In 1920 it had been shown that salaries 
appropriated on the prewar level were inadequate less than ten 
years later, a problem which would arise again and again. Bryn 
Mawr should not be helpless in competing with other, more largely 
endowed institutions in bidding for the services of established and 
eminent scholars or for the promising new ones who would be at 
the head of their profession tomorrow. "To maintain a scholarly 
Faculty in the face of necessary competition with other colleges; to 
provide more individual work for advanced undergraduate stu- 
dents . . ." So the report read. It was a large order. 

The implementation of the plan was very definite. To expand 
the College income, the number of students was to be increased 
from four hundred to five hundred. Tuition was increased in 1930 
from 1400 to $500, but this proved not enough and it became 
$600 in 1934. To house these new students and to take away the 
overcrowding in the present halls, there must be a new dormitory. 
This could be legitimately financed from College funds, the build- 
ing itself being taken as an investment, the interest and amortiza- 
tion coming from the room rents. It was the first time that the Di- 
rectors had taken so large a step in such use of College funds. To 


use those of the Joseph Taylor endowment was against the provi- 
sions of his will but other money had come to the College since, on 
which there were no such restrictions. The plan was to prove itself 
well justified, and to be repeated later. 

Moreover, there must be a science building, to replace the 
completely outgrown Dalton, and there must be another unit added 
to the Library building, corresponding to the original east build- 
ing. These would be financed by direct contribution, for it was only 
on income-bearing property that the Directors could lay out college 
funds. Adding it all up, evaluating, balancing and reconciling the 
estimates, the two committees set out a table of yearly increasing 
income, until the full number of students was taken in, with each 
step of the expansion carefully listed. The whole would require, 
they decided, with the Depression bearing heavily upon them and 
everyone feeling virtually penniless, the subscribed sum of a mil- 
lion dollars. 1935 would mark the end of the College's first half 
century. The Alumnae would raise the amount and call it the Fif- 
tieth Anniversary Fund. 

Their deliberations had been careful and well advised, but in 
one point their reasoning was in error. It was not realized then, as 
it came to be seen later, that to add a certain number of students 
to the College body did not, in exact proportion, add to the Col- 
lege income. Even with the increase in tuition fees it continued to 
be true that a college education cost more than the student's fees 
would pay. At Bryn Mawr they did not reach to much more than 
half the amount. Many years earlier a troubled Trustee was once 
heard to say somewhat indignantly to his colleagues, "Shall we be 
like Harvard and lose money on every student?" It is one of the 
basic facts in higher education that such is bound to be the case, 
Harvard having resolutely recognized the truth early, with others 
reluctantly following in her wake. Addition of students, therefore, 
calls for a certain proportion of addition to endowment. Added to 
that fact also there was proved, by further experience, that a greater 
number of students means at once a greater need for scholarship 
funds, since there is immediately proportional rise in applications 
for such support. 

Carey Thomas and James Rhoads had gone through a course 
of reasoning similar to this of the Alumnae and Directors, when 


that earlier two were persuading the Trustees that if Pembroke 
were built, almost doubling the number of students, the College in- 
come would be equally increased. Neither of them saw what was a 
weak point in the plan for which provision must be made. When 
Rockefeller was built, with a further addition of students and an 
undeniable need for increasing the number of the Faculty, the re- 
sources for the professors* salaries were so plainly insufficient that 
there was real want, or else a strong natural impulse to seek em- 
ployment elsewhere. Not until 1920, when the Alumnae carried out 
the 2, 000,000 drive for addition to the endowment, was the situa- 
tion really in balance again. 

In spite of this discrepancy, visible now and so not to be re- 
peated, this was a really notable plan, destined to be of even 
greater significance than the makers were aware. No move could be 
made, in the grim economic atmosphere of the Depression, to ful- 
fill it at once, so that, until it could be, the College went forward 
on its ordinary way. There were no means of lightening at once the 
load of anxiety and there were, besides, certain apparent reverses, 
each more disheartening than the last. 

In 1928 the Directors, with commendable foresight, declared 
that the Phebe Anna Thorne School must be closed. It was difficult 
to accept such a dictum. Under the earlier supervision of Mathilde 
Castro, the School had accomplished much of great value in carrying 
forward the very best of the new ideas in progressive education. 
She had resigned earlier to be married; but at this time the school, 
outwardly, was doing well, with plenty of pupils, a good head- 
mistress in Frances Browne and good teachers in spite of the 
scanty salaries. But those in whom the final responsibility rested 
could not help seeing that such a collection of debt which had 
now been accumulated would make an unjustifiable liability in 
times which were becoming more and more uncertain. Reality had 
to be faced, and the School did not reopen in the autumn of 1930. 
The School would open again, the Directors assured everyone, but 
it seemed a far cry to the day when it would be possible. The rather 
too hastily built pavilions used for open-air classes began to disin- 
tegrate and were presently pulled down. Only one, adjacent to Car- 
tref and capable of being heated, was to be kept and used for the 
work of the Child Study Institute, still giving its able advice and 


assistance to the nearby schools and still continuing Katharine Mc- 
Bride in the work which Interested her so greatly and which was so 
largely of her own creating. The service was carried on steadily 
even after she had left to become Dean of Radcliffe and, on her re- 
turn as President, was to be much extended. 

On the heels of this difficulty there arose another, not this time 
due to material reasons, but to those less tangible and more dis- 
turbing. It, also, had Its origin in the conditions of the Depression, 
but It was a far less direct issue and it gave rise to deep feeling 
and very strong differences of opinion. 

For eighteen years the Summer School for Women Workers in 
Industry had carried on its sessions on the campus with glowing 
success, with extending knowledge of what the curriculum for such 
a school for workers should contain, with accumulating results in 
Its students' bringing to their working lives a better and wider un- 
derstanding of what Industrial conditions stood for and what w r ere 
the real problems and necessities with which employer and em- 
ployee had to deal. It seemed that early experimentation had 
brought so much of valuable experience that nothing but contin- 
uing satisfaction could arise from the year-by-year relation. 

But in this harsh time, when unemployment grew greater and 
reached desperate proportions, when labor unions and operators de- 
veloped bitter differences over what one side called exploitation 
and the other declared was necessity, when strikes and the closing of 
factories tore the fabric of any mutual trust to pieces, there was 
little hope that such conditions would not, in the end, invade a 
school for industrial workers. Public opinion, moreover, began to 
run away, as public opinion can, with the suspicion that teaching 
in the Summer School was propaganda in the direction of labor un- 
rest, although, in truth, it was the exact opposite. The Directors 
were to find themselves under an unreasonable fire of criticism 
and questioning as to what manner of school this was which bore 
the Bryn Mawr name, and what it really stood for in this uneasy 
labor-and-capital world. 

Along with all this it was practically inevitable that there 
should arise, among the Summer School students, a minority of rad- 
ical and dissatisfied members, those who, as unrest and unemploy- 
ment mounted, felt that somebody or something must be held re- 


sponsible. From the beginning there had been a scattering of Com- 
munists in the student group, about eight or ten in a hundred, with 
no reason yet apparent for questioning their presence or for ex- 
cluding them. Now, although the number did not increase, the 
group had become noticeably more bitter and articulate. 

The definite break arose primarily from an honest misunder- 
standing, in the summer of 1934, as to what restrictions the Sum- 
mer School had promised to observe on the part of students and 
Faculty, and what the Directors had understood was agreed upon. 
In a clash between striking labor in Philadelphia and the police, so 
it was reported, members of the Summer School had been present as 
onlookers, although in actual fact two members of the Faculty had 
merely gone to intercede with the employer over the condition of 
women and children suffering from the tear gas used by the po- 
lice. Exaggeration of this incident brought from the not too well 
informed public a storm of protest declaring that representatives 
of the School had actually taken part in the strike. The session of 
1934 came to an end in a burst of accusation from without and in 
doubt and misgiving from within. The Directors, at their wits' end, 
announced that the School could not be continued the next year 
unless some plan were offered which would ensure the retaining of 
those earlier objectives which President Thomas had laid down but 
which now seemed to have been lost to sight. 

Weeks of discussion passed with no agreement reached. Hilda 
Smith, who had resigned as Dean of the College to take charge of 
the Summer School, had now gone on to the larger field of Labor 
Education under the United States Government. Without her wise 
and firm hand, famous for its power of persuasive control, dishar- 
mony and turbulence had been difficult to keep in bounds. To add 
to the difficulties of settlement, a Fact-Finding Committee, made up 
for the most part of former members of the Summer School, sent 
in to the Directors a report bristling with criticism of the Bryn 
Mawr management and demanding as a right that permission be 
given for the use of the College grounds the next summer. This 
committee bitterly reproached their own governing Board for ac- 
cepting the decision of the Bryn Mawr Directors and for looking 
for quarters elsewhere. 

There entered upon this scene Marion Park, who had been 


away at the time of the first decision, on a long tour of the Far 
West, in the interests of raising funds and of a future and more 
widespread list of applicants for entrance. She examined the dis- 
turbing details and put her finger at once on the center of the trou- 
ble. The Fact-Finding Committee, she declared, was self-appointed 
and had no official right to make any statements on the part of the 
School, certainly no right to Insist upon the return of the sessions. 
The year had advanced so far now% with no settled plan adopted, 
that there was no possibility of arranging for a session at the Col- 
lege for the summer of 1935. It would be necessary that it be held 
at Mount Ivy, the new location the Summer School Board had 
found. And Marlon Park insisted that there was little use in com- 
ing to a final conclusion "while every wire is red hot." "Do not 
let us part In disagreement/' she urged upon both sides. Let there 
be a settled plan made that could and would reassure the Bryn 
Mawr Directors and let there be a trial period set up for at least 
two years of reassociation. Thus equilibrium was at least tempo- 
rarily established, and the Summer School was scheduled to return 
after another season. 

In the spring of 1933 Marlon Park had announced from the 
Chair in Faculty Meeting that, for the next academic year, all sal- 
aries above $2,000 were to be cut 10 per cent. The Trustees for 
it was In their hands that the final decisions on finances lay had 
held out as long as they could, but were facing the inevitable now. 
In prosperous times a College might face an increasing deficit and 
still hope that possible gifts or a rise in value of assets might cover 
a part of the difference, but at this moment such risk was too great. 
No college could afford a dangerous deficit now, and this was the 
only way in which to avoid one. 

The President gave the news calmly, with no sign of what it cost 
her to make such a statement or of what it had cost the Trustees 
to face the fact of having to vote such a necessity. Everyone knew 
it to be unavoidable. What it meant to family budgets which would 
have to be rearranged, to cherished plans of travel for research, now 
to be abandoned, to the increased pressure of unrelaxed economiz- 
ing, was not to be expressed. The announcement was taken stoi- 
cally, nor was there then or later any criticism or protest. It was 
hard to see such a step being taken after all the years of building 


up salaries. Other colleges had taken it many months before; some 
had taken it too late. This was witness of what the Depression was 
doing to education everywhere. The only thing to do was to resolve 
that no matter what the increase in anxiety or the disappointment 
in plans for any man or woman there, in no case would there be 
any diminution in the quality of the appointed work. 

The Depression, for those who were going through it, seemed 
utterly interminable except to the few who were working upon a 
solution. To most, it had come to seem a permanent institution of 
modern living. But the end was nearer than had been thought, and 
only in this year and the next were Faculty salaries cut. And it is 
good to be able to record that financial astuteness on the part of 
the Trustees surmounted even the Depression deficits and that they 
were able to return, in the end, the money which it had been nec- 
essary to withhold. 

As the academic year of 1953-1934 opened, there appeared the 
first gleam of light in the general gloom. Marion Park made, at 
the chapel meeting which inaugurated the year, one of the finest of 
her addresses. She always spoke well, in strong and fine prose which 
at the moment went almost unnoticed, so absorbing was the inter- 
est of her basic idea. Even the full depth, wisdom and final insight 
of what she was saying show in their entire measure only as one reads 
her speeches over again. 

The state of the world seemed slightly less confused, she de- 
clared to the assembled College, "and we can unreef our sails a lit- 
tle"; but, she warned, "not too much." "As the world careens, rights 
itself or sinks, so Bryn Mawr careens, rights itself or sinks. A force 
neither entirely understandable nor controllable is taking us from 
the past into a future in which you must live, make your friends or 
your enemies, earn your living, grow old. . . . The college must 
educate for a changing world and the method must be in no way 
that of earlier custom. . . . You must prepare yourselves from the 
teachers, the books, the laboratories which we can put at your dis- 
posal, to meet something as yet not developed, something about 
which we know only that it will be different from anything of which 
we have now had experience." 

This was no attempt at the mysteries of prophecy; it was only 
straight thinking in the face of gigantic world problems. There 


must of course be change and she called it change and not dis- 
aster when all the old supports were breaking down. "Whatever 
cosmos comes out of this chaos/' she ended, ''will come, I believe, 
from the creative power, not of the individual but of the group. 
This generation must relearn loyalty to an idea; what is made out 
of many minds is a new thing and will demand a new loyalty of its 

Marion Park was, in effect, introducing her hearers to a new 
form of learning and a new method of approaching it, one in which 
the emphasis on individual choice and individual responsibility was 
to be beyond anything attempted before. Her wisdom and courage 
in facing an immense new task began with her statements here, 
which would bring others to face it too. Bryn Mawr, with the rest 
of its kind, was to go forward into an unfamiliar world, new indeed 
and brave because there was nothing else to be. The educational 
possibilities were even now r on the forge and under the hammer. 
Where there might be threats of looming disaster, there were also 
the openings of new opportunities, if only there was also the spirit 
which could embrace them. 

With the first glimpse o a rift in the dark cloud which had 
hung so heavily and for so long, the Alumnae were up and away on 
the active phase of their carefully weighed plan for the College. 
Caroline McCormick Slade came forward to head her third drive 
for funds; her very name was magic and already the toiling com- 
mittees could hear in imagination her triumphant voice announcing 
the achievement of the million-dollar goal. Architect's plans were 
being drawn, tentatively, for the proposed new buildings; the dor- 
mitory, at least, was a certainty with College funds behind it. The 
architect was Sydney Martin, a new and warm friend of Bryn Mawr. 

An early gift for the construction fund came from the Rhoads 
family, while at the same time it had already been agreed that one 
of the new buildings should carry the name of the first President. 
Many have wondered why, in view of James Rhoads's great interest 
in the scientific work of the College, and in the earlier science 
building which, as a friend records, he sought "with passionate urg- 
ing/' it was not the new science building which was named for 
him. But his son, Charles J. Rhoads, now Chairman of the Board of 
Trustees and Directors, felt that, close as his father had been to the 


sciences, his even greater Interest was In the students themselves 
and that it was the dormitory which should be called Rhoads Hall. 
In the Alumnae Plan it had been settled that when the Library was 
completed It was to be named for Carey Thomas, so fully had it 
been the w r ork of her hands and her spirit. There was no doubt in 
the world as to what name should be commemorated also upon the 
campus, and the new Science Building, even on paper, became 
Marlon Park HalL 

The year 1935 came round and with it the time for taking 
stock of Bryn Mawr's fifty years of history, a record of origin, 
achievement, change and difficulties overcome which was enough 
to fill a mere half-century full to overflowing. Perhaps it was be- 
cause it came at the end of a period of such special trial, perhaps 
because everyone felt the quickening possibilities abroad in the 
world of education, that this Fiftieth Anniversary celebration was of 
such particular import. One might almost feel that it was for this 
alone that Goodhart had been built, as, on that November day 
chosen for the celebration, the long procession wound in at its great 
doors. Inside, the packed crowd rose as one In a thunder of ap- 
plause and cheers, for at the end of the line walked the two Presi- 
dents, Marion Park and beside her that sturdy, white-haired figure, 
a legend to some, a cherished memory to others, President Martha 
Carey Thomas, in her old place again. Marion Park was applaud- 
ing with the rest as they came down the aisle, for this hour was 
Carey Thomas's own. 

There were speeches, and a President of Johns Hopkins greeted 
Bryn Mawr on the brink of her second half-century as another had 
done at the opening of her first. President Conant, of Harvard, 
spoke of the independently endowed college, "free from entan- 
gling alliances," its possibilities of leadership and enterprise, its 
sacred responsibility to carry out its opportunities. Ada Corns tock, 
President of Radcliffe, spoke of the special character and quality of 
a college, "which affects teachers and students alike, hard to analyze, 
traceable as the Gulf Stream in the sea." But the real moment of the 
day was when Carey Thomas rose to speak, introduced by Marion 

"Miss Thomas, we give you of the fruit of your hands and let 
your own works praise you in the gates/' 



Carey Thomas was never, fundamentally, anything but com- 
pletely herself. For those in that audience who knew her only by 
hearsay, she was the full realization of all that they had been told. 
For those who remembered her and no process of time could blur 
that recollection she was the complete return of everything they 
had thought of her as being. She was as vigorous, as forcible in argu- 
ment, as unconsciously roughshod in some of her comments, as 
broadly constructive and as full of clear vision of the future as she 
had ever been. Women have not even yet been given the full re- 
wards of deserving scholarship, was the burden of her address; we 
must push on, push on until they have complete recognition and 
high employment. Actually, she insisted, practical recognition was 
growing less. 

"This is the last time that I shall ever speak to the Bryn Mawr 
Alumnae," she said as she came to her close. There were cries from 
the audience, "No, no, Miss Thomas/' but only her nephew and 
physician, sitting among them, knew how close she had come to be- 
ing unable to speak to them now. She offered her final admonition, 
"Help women scholars in this field which is now being closed to 
them." She made her conclusion, her voice halting at the end, and 
sat down while Goodhart rocked with applause. In all her stormy, 
varied and magnificent career, perhaps this moment was the great- 
est and the happiest. 

It was Marion Park's great day, also, but she was quite content 
with little emphasis upon that fact. 

Scores of colleges and universities were represented there that 
day. The Alumnae present all marched in the procession, with at 
least two members of every class that had been graduated from the 
beginning, and more than a third present of the first one, the Class 
of 1889. Joseph Taylor had been spoken of with gratitude and af- 
fection, but to Carey Thomas alone was he a living memory. A 
brief list, extending through Marion Park's college generation, had 
visual recollection of James Rhoads's dignified figure and kindly 
face. Yet these four, as, at the end of that crowded hour, everyone 
could know, had been good stewards indeed. And the "more" had 
come, for Caroline McCormick Slade had announced that three- 
quarters of the million had been raised, with conviction that the rest 
would follow. For those twelve members of the first class, that open- 


ing day fifty years ago, was as vivid as this one, the lowering skies, 
the wind blowing the photographer's black cloth as he sought to 
take pictures of arriving notables. How much of promise there had 
been then, how much of fulfillment now! Yet the sense of promise 
was still there, making electric the atmosphere of recollection, early 
affection, present excitement and belief in the future. The long 
procession wound its way out again into the sparkling autumn day. 
Not merely the new half-century but the whole of the stirring future 
was now to be taken in hand. 

An undergraduate wrote home to her father that night that she 
had decided, "I couldn't spare the time to go to the celebration/' 
but had strolled across the grass to watch the dignitaries assembling 
when Miss Thomas was flatly refusing to join the procession at 
Goodhart, vowing that she could and would walk the whole of the 
way. The girl waited to watch the line proceed. "It was like May 
Day/* she said, only half conscious that this glimpse of pageantry 
was one of the rare occasions when the achievements, the scholarly 
labor and the beauty of the intellectual life were made graphic and 
visible in the flowing gowns of black or scarlet, the varied rich 
color of the hoods, in the learned faces. Quite without her knowing, 
she was drawn into the wake of the line and sat in Goodhart to 
hear the speeches, to be carried away by the ovation to Miss Thomas. 
She had, as she tried so earnestly to tell her father, a sudden real 
knowledge of what Bryn Mawr meant to everyone who came there 
and went away again, invariably bearing with her something which 
was as intangible as it was imperishable. 

A month after that day of the fifty-year celebration, Carey 
Thomas was dead. She had been in no way mistaken when she knew 
that she would never speak before that audience again, never hold 
converse with "her Alumnae/' never see those rows of earnest faces 
each representing someone to whose fullness of life her College had 
made signal contribution. There must always be a last time, and for 
her it was a glorious one, with all the differences and disputes com- 
posed and forgotten, all the greatness of her work known and ac- 
claimed. To some changes she had remained stubbornly unrecon- 
ciled, but that perhaps was inevitable, for she really belonged to 
another age, the one of struggle and justification rather than of 
completed accomplishment and forward progress. On that day of 


1885 when Bryn Mawr opened, there may have been many doubt- 
ing Thomases among the grave Quakers and others who had gath- 
ered there. On this day of her great acclaim, among that far greater 
audience whom she addressed, there was not one dissenting spirit. 
The whole of education, in her lifetime, had taken this long step 
forw ard, of admitting women to free access to learning, of accept- 
ing the great contribution that women could make. There could 
be no doubt that the Bryn Mawr experiment had been a most po- 
tent factor in this accomplishment. 

Some years before Carey Thomas died she made over to the 
Alumnae all her equity in the house, still called the Deanery, which 
she and Mary Garrett had rebuilt with such care and filled with the 
spoils of their wide travels. Technically the real title to the building 
lay with the Trustees, but the contents were Miss Thomas's and 
these went with the house furniture, inlaid secretaries, rugs, pic- 
tures, even a closetful of brocades for recovering chairs when orig- 
inal coverings were worn out. With all these she bequeathed her 
innate conviction that the beauties of gracious living went naturally 
with the beauties of scholastic life. The responsibility laid upon 
the Alumnae was a large one, both financially and morally. 

Miss Thomas would have liked to endow the house with a trust 
fund for its maintenance, but the ravages of the Depression had di- 
minished the fortune left her by Mary Garrett, so that project was, 
finally, not feasible. None the less the Alumnae carried out what 
they knew so well to be her wishes. The Deanery has been main- 
tained as a gathering place for the Alumnae, for a Faculty club, 
as a place of hospitality of wide and variable resources. Her china 
and linens are still used in the public dining room, where the wait- 
ing is done by college students, with whom it is always interesting 
to have snatches of conversation on the subjects of philosophy 
and literature as the plates are being changed. Concert audiences 
sit on the brocaded chairs, and Alumnae come to committee meet- 
ings in the Blue Room where once, dressed in their best, with hats 
and gloves, they had conferences with the President. Only the Dean- 
ery Committee itself can say what all this has meant in work, in 
planning, in hope and enterprise. 

Not only has the Deanery carried out all its possible and in- 
dispensable functions, but it is the place where, as in no other con- 


nectlon, Carey Thomas is intimately remembered, is quoted and 
described by those who knew her, is asked about by those who did 
not. Hither have come, in continuing numbers, those distinguished 
guests whom she and Mary Garrett had in mind when they planned 
those great drawing rooms, the luxurious suites and the secluded 
garden watched over by the two grotesque stone lions. Here have 
been entertained those eminent scholars who have come to deliver 
the Flexner lectures, and others such as Eliot, Kittredge, Robert 
Frost, Bertrand Russell, Auden, Spender, a myriad of great person- 

The pronounced stamp of the taste of these two ladies, belong- 
ing so definitely to the last days of the nineteenth century when it 
was formed, has been left unaltered, so complete is the harmony of 
building, furnishings, purpose and fond reminiscence. What also 
survives, unthreatened by change in point of view or trend of the 
times, is the knowledge of the devotion of these two women to the 
spirit, the ideal and the unbounded possibilities of Bryn Mawr. 

Chapter XIII 



There had been great promise in all that had been spoken of on 
that day of 1935 and the half-century celebration, but for the next 
months it began to seem like promise that would be slow in fulfill- 
ment. Even in those later 1930'$ the shadow of the Depression had 
not yet passed away; money had never been so difficult to come by, 
and the needs of the College grew steadily more pressing. The dor- 
mitory was safe enough, but the other projected buildings seemed 
like castles in very thin air indeed. Yet there had been much gen- 

An Alumna who said that her name was to be withheld until 
her death gave $50,000 "in honor of Miss Thomas." A memorial gift 
was offered that was of special significance. Quita Woodward, of the 
class of 1932, was a student beloved by all, gay, friendly, intrepid 
in the face of advancing ill health, bound to graduate at Bryn 
Mawr, bound also to let nothing darken her happiness there. Her 
death, in the year after her graduation, inexorable as merciless ill- 
ness had made it, was a desperate blow to all of the many who had 
known her and been so deeply attached to her. As Bryn Mawr lives, 
so her memory is to live, in the wing and the reading room which 
carry her name. It is, somehow, a memory that has preserved the 
impression of the beauty and happiness of her short life, not the 
unreconciled sorrow that goes with untimely death. Her father and 
mother subscribed to the new Library wing, particularly for the 


housing of the departments of Art and Archaeology, and for the 
specially designated reading room for the students to be called 
the Quita Woodward Room. 

But in spite of this and other giving, the amount collected grew 
slowly and in the face of ever increasing needs. Marion Park, there- 
fore, came to a sudden conclusion hased partly on the pressure of 
the moment, largely on logical reasoning and strong common sense. 
If there were not sufficient money to complete the addition to the 
Library, planned as matching the main and eastward portion, then 
why not build something smaller? It would be quite in order to 
make the new construction correspond, instead, to the existing 
north and south wings which bounded the cloisters. Even if it were 
no different In height and depth, and would, unfortunately, be the 
sooner outgrown, it would still be large enough for offices, class- 
rooms and the exhibition space needed by the Art Department. If 
there were not enough funds for the Science Building as designed, 
why not take a portion of the plan, set up the central part and 
leave the wings to be added later? This would, inevitably, involve 
separating the sciences, for it was evident, after very brief discus- 
sion, that the new site could not, without great waste and incon- 
enience, be adjacent to Dalton. And here was the most difficult 
proposal of all much could be saved if this building were of brick, 
and in austere modern style, instead of the cut stone and outward 
form of towered Gothic. It was very difficult for the Bryn Mawr so- 
ciety to accept this last detail of the proposal. Could the College be 
really itself in any garb but gray stone and ivy? The answer plainly 
was that if it was to continue to be Its progressive self it would 
have to accept some compromises. 

In the end there was quicker recovery from the shock of the 
gray brick than there was from the modified Gothic of the archi- 
tecture of Goodhart. Modern science did not really have to be set 
in surroundings that referred back to the origin of all Western ed- 
ucation in the monastic schools of the Middle Ages. To the profes- 
sors of chemistry and geology it was clear enough that a foursquare 
building of functional form would very well contain classrooms, 
laboratories, small rooms for individual experiments, and museum 
and library space. The celebrated Rand Collection of minerals, 
given to the College through the good offices of Florence Bascom, 


would here have full justice, Instead of being hidden in those dark 
corners in the top floor of Dal ton. 

The new portion of the Library could well be adapted in beau- 
tiful proportion to the matching and completing of the existing 
wings. At the moment it seemed, by contrast, to give palatial room 
to those who had been used to the overcrowded classrooms and 
makeshift offices which had been their necessary habitation. The Di- 
rectors, Alumnae and Faculty all finally fell in with this bolder and 
more sensible method of facing difficulties, and the work began to 
go forward. Rhoads Hall was begun first, then the Science Building. 
The Library wing came into use last, a year later than the others, 
in 1939. 

The sum of all this building going forward in the late twenties 
and in the latter years of the 1930*5 materially altered the face of 
the campus. But it was but little in comparison; it was indeed 
only an adjunct to the invisible changes that were going on within 
the academic processes of the College. Students now were to "pre- 
pare themselves'*; they were not to be taught. So Marion Park de- 
clared to the students on that morning which opened the academic 
year of 1935-1934. Only so could they be ready for that future 
which, it was even then foreseeable, was to be so different from any- 
thing which had gone before. 

It was a startling challenge, but more than a decade had al- 
ready gone into the evolving of a system in which this would be 
fully possible. That study, begun almost with Marion Park's ad- 
ministration itself, had been laboriously going over the necessary 
alterations in the old plan of the curriculum, in the group system 
in the first place. This, except for some increase in the number of 
departments and available courses, had seen no variation in prin- 
ciple since it was first set on foot in 1885. Changes were to come 
now in a different way from that in which, much earlier, the old, 
ultraclassical scheme of study was brought to an end, subject by 
subject. What was being sought for now was a whole new approach, 
a fashion of learning. And conclusions were reached through com- 
parison of judgment and experience, and adopted by common con- 
sent. Much time and long effort are bound to go into any such 
complete remaking of an outworn method. 

There had been revived, under the new President, the College 


Council, a group formed of the heads of the various undergraduate 
and graduate associations, a body set up during World War I to 
coordinate services and activities. Marlon Park set out to make use 
of them as a consultative committee for this question which was of 
such Importance to them all. They formed a Curriculum Commit- 
tee of their own; they met with the Faculty's Committee and offered 
some of the most helpful suggestions in the whole, lengthy study. 
Everyone worked arduously over the unending details, the unex- 
pected and exasperating difficulties. Everyone felt conscious of hav- 
ing a share in what was accomplished In the end. 

It was settled that, instead of the old double major system, 
wherein the main subjects were pursued in indivisible pairs, there 
should be for every student, a single central subject, with a broad 
list of "allies" as a guide to sequence and connection in choices 
made. The selection of the major and its allies was left fully to the 
student's own decision. There was a radical change in the distribu- 
tion of time and the weighing of courses, while those which were 
required were reduced in number to scarcely half the older list. 
There was thus a far wider margin for the choice of free electives. 
There was, too, less and less dependence on lectures alone; class 
discussion was to accompany them wherever possible, for exchange 
and establishment of opinion within the class itself. Yet lectures 
were not lost sight of as necessary to cover wide ground, to gather 
knowledge from many sources, as basis for the students' informed 

Above all there was to be ample opportunity for consultation 
between professor and student. Particularly for upperclassmen there 
should be generous individual attention and guidance in the chosen 
discipline, to use that term of current academic parlance to which 
so much of the flavor of ancient learning still seems to cling. Disci- 
pline it surely is, but not from outside, nor even is it deliberate 
self-discipline, but the rigorous ruling out of extraneous things 
which the special field of learning itself entails upon those who, 
with true interest and devotion, set out to follow it. To give freely 
of time and attention to young people's individual intellectual 
needs has long been a strong tradition of the Bryn Mawr Faculty. 
Such a thing is kept up far less by definite requirements and stipu- 
lation at the time of appointment than by discussion and example 



between older Faculty members and younger ones. It is only thus 
that the true spirit of generous scholarship can be kept alive. 

The new curriculum was warmly welcomed by the students. 
For them it split the shell of an old rigor which had remained too 
long sheltered in its own immobility. They were moving, perhaps 
not quite consciously, into a plan of study which called for more 
and more of their own thinking processes, which rendered them 
more mature and, in this sense, more educated. Following the first 
step there came quickly the introduction of Honors work and the 
resultant "graduation with honors." For this, specially able stu- 
dents were invited with the privilege of declining to pursue dur- 
ing their senior year some phase of their appointed study carried 
out by their own research, with no settled course or classes or at- 
tendance on lectures. Instead there was regular and direct consul- 
tation with their professors. Every mind has its own single and best 
direction, and it is the true flowering of complete education when 
that mind can follow, under its own effort, its own innately ap- 
propriate way. 

After Honors, there came, in 1937, the plan for the Com- 
prehensives, technically designated as the Final Examination. Here 
the student was called upon to review, and offer for questioning, 
the whole of her knowledge of her major subject, with one field of 
special concentration and one of an allied study. The students were 
greatly alarmed over the Comprehensives after the Faculty had 
finally voted to adopt them, and believed that degrees might well 
be lost by some chance casualty on a final examination paper. Time 
has shown, however, that methodically approached through the help 
of their professors, the comprehensive review was not a liability but 
an asset. It gave a greater sense of true understanding of the entire 
subject, instead of that sum of various courses, set end to end in 
the student's mind, that afforded a lesser grasp of their study as 
a whole. Bryn Mawr came to this system of Honors and Com- 
prehensives a little later than did some of the other colleges, and by 
the express and patiently pursued desire of Marion Park. 

As a further development in these accepted changes, there came 
the organizing of the Language houses, in 1937 and 1938, where stu- 
dents pledged themselves to use only the language in question while 
they were under a Language House roof. German and Spanish 


houses have been arranged for, whenever the demand was sufficient. 
The French House has gone on continuously, in Wyndham, as has 
been told elsewhere. The French Department also joined in the 
University of Delaware's plan for the Junior Year Abroad, and the 
College has shared with Smith in a similar plan for study in coun- 
tries other than France. Students work at foreign universities of 
their choice and live, under sufficient advice and supervision, with 
families near by. Until the war temporarily put an end to it, this 
scheme was one which enlisted larger and larger interest. 

The person who contributed most to the practical working 
form of all this new order was Helen Taft Manning, Dean of the 
College at that time, although she had, in her indefatigable services 
to Bryn Mawr, been many other things. She was traveling compan- 
ion to Carey Thomas on one of her fabulous journeys abroad; she 
hearkened to, and took seriously, Miss Thomas's constantly re- 
peated behest that a Dean, instead of confining herself to the giv- 
ing of individual advice, "should put more time on educational 
problems/' Entering as a student in the autumn of 1908, she took 
three years out to be of help to her father and mother during their 
term in the White House, and came back to graduate with the Class 
of 1915. Her connection with Bryn Mawr since then has been nearly 
continuous; as Helen Taft she was made Dean when still very 
young; she was absurdly young when appointed as acting President 
during another of Carey Thomas's journeys. As Helen Manning, 
she was acting President later for Marion Park and acting Dean 
of the Graduate School in 1943. In 1946 she gave up her sabbatical 
year and postponed the writing of a long-planned and important 
book, to become Executive Director of the Alumnae drive for funds. 
She is now Chairman of the History Department, with a wide field 
for her ample scholarship. 

She contributed with extraordinary constructive ability to the 
working out of the intricate details, and to the establishing of the 
deeper import, of the new curriculum. The system, to achieve full 
success, had to be founded on profound scholarship, on sensible 
planning and on a true understanding of those brisk young minds 
for whom the whole effort was being expended. All who worked 
on this greatly altered order of study drew on their full familiarity 
with the brilliant capacity of some students, the toiling devotion of 


others, the alert intellectual curiosity of the many, the inevitable 
difficulties of the few. Out of her expert knowledge, her own high 
sense of scholarship and her endless resourcefulness, Helen Manning 
made her great contributions to the new idea, the new College. 

A new College it had become indeed. "Old plans proved their 
essential Tightness by being unexpectedly adaptable/' Marion Park 
said later. It was surely true that the new plan came out of the old 
one, that it was stoutly founded upon what Carey Thomas's Alum- 
nae had called "the enduring elements." Without those elements it 
could not have come into being. Now it was really completed, with 
the carrying out of the Alumnae plan, with the addition of the hun- 
dred students, with the new buildings and with the Faculty's reor- 
ganized curriculum moving steadily forward until it was completely 
under way. 

It seemed, then, since all had been so heroically accomplished, 
that everyone concerned could stop for a moment at last and draw 
a long breath. But could they? It is to be noted that the last step 
of the plan ended with the opening of the Library wing and that 
this occurred in 1939. 

The activities of a college are many-sided, and these were not 
all of the changes going on at Bryn Mawr in the face of a changing 
and hurrying world. In November of 1938, the connection between 
Bryn Mawr and the Summer School for Women Workers in In- 
dustry came to an official end. Reassociation, renewed for a trial 
period of two years, had been extended to a third. But now, at a 
meeting of the Joint Committee of the Summer School, of which 
she was Chairman, Marion Park presented her decision, fully con- 
scious of how unwelcome it was, and how necessary. She could not 
recommend, she said, a renewing of the old arrangement. Labor 
Education was a great movement of its own, recognized early by 
President Thomas and given, by her plan, both incentive and ex- 
tending experience. But this unique experiment had merged into 
something different and had passed beyond the point where Bryn 
Mawr could well follow it. Labor itself should control it, and the 
School should become a larger organization without the restrictions 
that short summer sessions on a college campus would afford. The 
School itself had been getting many requests from Trade Unions for 
larger facilities, for opportunities to carry on institutes of various 


kinds, for work which could extend over longer periods than a sum- 
mer vacation would allow. Marion Park declared that she would con- 
tinue, gladly, her interest and her work for the School, but the im- 
mediate arrangement was proving too narrow of possibility. For its 
own sake the Summer School should move on to something larger. 

She did not say, as she might have, that it was only by accept- 
ing the proposal that the President of Bryn M awr should be the 
President also of the Board of the Summer School, that the re- 
newed connection could go forward at all, with a resulting large 
addition to the work of that office. It required a constant steering 
of the project over small but dangerous difficulties, more in number 
than history will ever record. 

She was giving them the best of her considered opinion now, 
and to this opinion she held. There was protest and criticism from 
various directions, but in the end she was rewarded by seeing the 
Summer School do w r ell under its new auspices and in its new lo- 
cation. At West Park, New York, "Hudson Shore," the family home 
of Hilda Smith, had been earlier remodeled and used for four years 
as a workers' school and was equipped now for just such a purpose. 
Here, under the name of the Hudson Shore Labor School for 
Women Workers in Industry, organized now for year-round activity, 
the next chapter of the former Summer School began. Certain gifts 
to the College, made for the well-being of this particular venture, 
were turned over to assist in the launching of the new and ex- 
panded program. There was regret over the final departure of the 
School, but there was left the satisfaction of knowing that, through 
all the ups and downs, there had not been lost sight of that original 
conviction of Carey Thomas's that intellectual training is certain 
to enrich any walk of life, and that it is worth going far either to 
seek it or to bestow it. 

One more definite break with the past was made, and brought 
about In the spirit of forward educational progress along a whole 
line and with manifest result. The College was steadily moving 
away from what some of the Alumnae had called "the splendid iso- 
lation of Bryn Mawr." That isolation had grown particularly 
marked in the later days of President Thomas's administration, 
more conspicuously so since other women's colleges were so 
definitely drawing together, particularly those of private endow- 


ment. Bryn Mawr's undertakings and problems were peculiar to 
herself, and her own kind of college, so Carey Thomas insisted, 
and there would be little benefit in consultation with others. As 
President she more or less automatically had place on various 
Boards and committees which had to do with general education, 
such as the College Entrance Examination Board, but her own im- 
pulse toward outside activities, in those final years, was in woman 
suffrage, which was achieved only two years before her retirement. 
With the common problems of higher education growing so many 
and so difficult, It was hardly probable that such withdrawal could 
have continued much longer. 

With a steadily growing college-bent population, there was vis- 
ibly no need to compete for students, since it was difficult enough, 
during those early 1920*5 to find places for all who wished to at- 
tend. It was clear also that there were more and more matters upon 
which common discussion was very pertinent, matters of construc- 
tion, of operation and social regulation. It was a long time since 
Joseph Taylor and Carey Thomas had made their tours seeking in- 
formation on just such questions and had been so earnestly and so 
vainly advised by the President of Smith to include closets In the 
building plans. Four colleges, Vassar, Smith, Wellesley and Mount 
Holyoke, had begun having meetings of their own, following the 
meetings of the College Entrance Board, with President Neilson of 
Smith as their leading spirit. He had urged Carey Thomas to join 
them but she had remained elusive. Marion Park, however, imme- 
diately began attending the meetings, which were later joined, in 
1940, by Radcllffe and Barnard, formerly considered in a different 
category because each was part of the organization of a great uni- 

Bryn Mawr from the beginning had presented its own examina- 
tions for entrance, but had come finally into using those of the 
College Entrance Board, although continuing to rely a good deal 
on her own reading and interpretation of them. In 1933, however, 
when the Depression had brought an alarming decrease in applica- 
tion for all colleges, there was a sudden general agreement, among 
other institutions, both men's and women's, to turn, for a basis of 
acceptance for matriculation, to the new form of aptitude tests and 
a very limited number of written papers of the general nature 


called achievement tests. Since all the others had gone along with 
the large universities in accepting the change, Bryn Mawr, with 
some reluctance and some doubts and criticisms at home, joined 
with the rest. It was very soon to be plain to everyone concerned 
that the new method brought a change very much for the better 
in simplifying and making more effective the process of choice 
among applicants. 

This association of women's colleges, become the Seven Col- 
leges after 1940, has gone forward as an able and firm organiza- 
tion, a distinct feature in the whole picture of modern education 
and a full proof of the value of cooperation. Deans meet now, as 
well as the heads of the colleges; Faculty representatives come also, 
and undergraduate presidents of Self-Government Associations. A 
Seven College Alumnae Committee has followed. A campaign of 
publicity had been organized early to show thinking Americans how, 
even to a newly enlightened generation, it was not everywhere clear 
how inadequately the funds for women's education were meeting 
the actual needs, how strong is still the tradition for giving to men's 
colleges and universities instead. No drives for funds attended this 
effort; it was simply made in the cause of provoking general con- 
sideration of a vital subject. It has borne slow but tangible fruit in a 
changed attitude in the Educational Foundations and Corporations 
which have money to assign, and in wills made then with bequests 
that have come to light many years later. 

The National Scholarships were set up by the Seven Colleges, 
following World War II, to apply to ten states, where any applicant 
could compete for them and, with success, could make a choice of 
any one of the seven for entrance. They arose from the knowledge 
that a college, to have a complete and balanced student body, must 
draw candidates from all geographical areas and from all economic 
backgrounds. Only in such combination can young people teach 
one another toleration and understanding, and can lose, in their 
common life, the provincialism or the loneliness which so easily as- 
sails the young student. 

A much earlier realization of this same truth, and a means for 
helping to lay the foundation for such a plan, has been Bryn Mawr's 
long-standing institution of her own, the Regional Scholarships. It 
has been mentioned that, for the purposes of the drive for funds in 


1920, the Alumnae Association had been organized geographically 
into districts with Councilors for each and plans for regular meet- 
ings of this combined Council One of the first activities of this 
newly organized system was to set up, in 1922, this arrangement for 
regional scholarships whereby Alumnae in each district raised funds 
for the support of one, two, three or more candidates entering Bryn 
Mawr. Effective methods have been evolved for finding out the best 
applicants, talking with them and passing on their promise, and 
keeping contact with them as they go forward for their degrees. 
The whole was conceived as a definite part of Marion Park's ex- 
panded view of the opportunities for Eryn Mawr's usefulness. 

The New England district proposed the plan, it having origi- 
nated with Eleanor Little Aldrich, of the Class of 1905, who has 
been so long and so faithfully a Director of the College and who 
has moved mountains in the carrying out of this special under- 
taking. The Regional Scholarships give assistance now to as many 
as forty-three Bryn Mawr undergraduates at a time, and have pro- 
duced a group of notably excellent students and of loyal and val- 
uable Alumnae. 

The College has, besides, a long list of endowed scholarships 
and of scholarships offered by the Trustees to the neighboring pub- 
lic schools and to Quaker schools in memory of Joseph Taylor. But 
there are never enough. As the college population of the whole 
country grows, so Bryn Mawr inevitably grows, and with every ac- 
quisition of numbers there is the attendant necessity for more ex- 
tended aid to the promising ones who are in need of it. 

"We need a half-million for scholarships now," James Rhoads 
said to Carey Thomas in 1885. It was wishful thinking indeed when 
a whole million was all that they had for everything. 

Bryn Mawr's foreign scholarships, standing in a somewhat dif- 
ferent category, are to be described elsewhere. 

Joseph Taylor, in his letters and his discussions with friends, 
noted at various times that the geographical proximity of Haver- 
ford and Bryn Mawr might prove of use to both of them. He con- 
cluded, finally, however, that his new College should be at great 
enough distance from any other to be entirely independent. The 
same idea of usefulness did not seem to occur to him in regard to 
Swarthmore, removed from Bryn Mawr by what once seemed a very 


considerable distance. But modern transportation has brought them 
all much nearer together and modern ways of thinking have brought 
them closer still. Haverford, set up by Orthodox Quakers and for 
men; Swarthmore, founded by Hicksite Quakers and coeducational; 
Bryn Mawr, Quaker-sponsored too, and for women, are definitely 
alike in some ways, definitely different in others. It becomes In the 
end a natural conclusion that they could complement one another 
in all those matters where one has what the others do not. The Idea 
and the possibility of their w r orking together in certain matters had 
been considered earlier, but it can be said that it was Marion 
Park's special effort that brought what w r as only a possibility into a 
real working reality. There had been earlier, but much less exten- 
sive exchange of students between the University of Pennsylvania 
and Bryn Mawr. 

Marion Park kept to the determined view that the solution of 
problems, the spur for going forward, should come from the group 
rather than from the single person, no matter how long or slow was 
the process of arriving at conclusions. But in this matter it was 
necessary at the beginning for one person to show the initiative, to 
spend time and interest, to make, by 1940, the value of what has 
come to be known as Three-College Cooperation a self-evident fact. 
Two of the colleges involved were about to have new Presidents, 
and Haverford had only recently acquired one; it was the desire of 
all three heads of their institutions that some arrangement be made 
as an asset to those who would have the future responsibilities. 

The first meetings between Presidents Park, Morley and Nason 
were incidental and casual, over small practical matters which 
called for concerted discussion. The points of common interest and 
the opportunities for mutual helpfulness, however, soon became 
very plain, were considered, developed and set in working order. It 
was thought at one time that the three libraries might be organized 
under one common head, but this was not found to be practical. 
But a complete pooling of library resources, a regular and organized 
exchange of books, the inclusion in the Bryn Mawr catalogue of the 
books available so close by at Haverford, all have made for greatly 
extended resources and a relief of pressure on budgets. An inter- 
change of students followed, where one college offered courses 
which the other had not. When a number of students were involved 


it was found better to have the professor go to and fro rather than 
to transport the class. From that point the step was obvious to the 
idea of joint appointments, when certain new members of the Fac- 
ulty were chosen with the special view of their teaching in more 
than one of the three colleges. 

As everyone knows, student opinion is emphatic and occasion- 
ally unaccountable, and, at first, Bryn Mawr student opinion, sur- 
prisingly, was voiced as being thoroughly against the new idea. "It 
was not our intention to attend a university/' an editorial in the 
College News declared. They thought that this was something being 
forced upon them, diminishing the prestige and individual standing 
of their own College. But reassurance followed quickly: nothing was 
to be obligatory; much was clearly to be gained by this wider 
spread of courses. Supporting enthusiasm followed soon, and the 
three colleges stepped easily into that established and friendly inter- 
change which has simplified problems, enlarged resources and en- 
riched possibilities ever since. 

In 1953 a national survey, backed by the Fund for the Advance- 
ment of Education, produced a report entitled The Younger Amer- 
ican Scholar; His Collegiate Origins. Its purpose was "to discover 
the fountains of scholarship in America, that is the colleges that pro- 
duce men and women dedicated to advanced scholarly endeavour." 
Among the men's institutions, Haverford was listed at the head; 
among those which were coeducational, Swarthmore; among the 
women's colleges, Bryn Mawr. There is plainly, therefore, much here 
of common standards and common purpose, so that interchange 
comes easily and with profit to all three. This innovation in Marion 
Park's administration was something unique, and it was Marion 
Park's own. 

It may be seen, by this review, how packed full were those two 
decades of the igso's and iggo's with forward-looking plans, with 
tireless effort, with large achievement. But the time had come now 
when there could be no more looking ahead, when all that was pos- 
sible was to entrench, to stand fast, to hold to what was good. The 
whirlwind of totalitarian ideology was sweeping across Europe with 
its accompanying purpose of world domination. One of its hideous 
characteristics was already plain: its determination to overthrow 
free scholarship. Among other desperate questions there was also 


this one: How would education fare in a world darkened by such 
deliberate destruction of human welfare, material and spiritual? No 
person then present will ever erase from memory that scene in De- 
cember, 1941, when the whole college body gathered in Goodhart, 
grave, silent, intent as no one had ever seen them before, listening 
to the broadcast voice of President Roosevelt asking his Congress 
for a declaration of war. 

In the ordinary course of things Marion Park would have re- 
tired from the Presidency of Bryn Mawr in June of 1941. She 
would have been spared the impact of that staggering blow to 
American society when, as is always true of a war, everything 
changed utterly overnight. Restrictions on food and travel, Civil 
Defense organization, departure of Faculty, the specter of reduced 
income and reduced enrollment, all had to be met. Her training in 
office had been rugged, but this was the most demanding situation of 
all. There was a night when a telephone call from Washington 
brought warning that all laboratories where experimental work for 
the Government was going on, were to be blown up. Princeton had 
received similar warning. Bryn Mawr's President and her chief air- 
raid warden, together with the College workmen, spent the night 
guarding the different entrances to Dalton, but morning came with- 
out the threatened disaster. 

"We take for granted the tumult of affairs beyond our walls," 
President Park said in her yearly report to the Directors, and went 
on to record what had been done, what was being planned within 
the possibilities which were left. 

The matter of choosing a new President had been undertaken 
with great care and thoroughness. A committee had been appointed 
among the Faculty and another among the Alumnae. Everyone was 
asked to send in a list of suggested names so that the possibility of 
choice might be as wide as possible. At the end of a year no con- 
clusion had been reached. Without Marion Park's willingness to 
continue in office the situation would have been grave; a forced de- 
cision made in haste would have been a serious matter. Discussion 
and investigation went diligently forward. Meanwhile, a young as- 
sociate professor in the Department of Psychology and Education 
had been called to be Dean of Radcliffe and, in a term of able 
service, was building up her administrative experience. Marion Park 


had made heroic effort to conceal the fact of who was her favorite 
candidate, but her delight in the final selection was unnecessary to 
hide. It was a clear and brilliant day in the autumn of 1941, with 
all the gay College banners streaming from their staffs in the No- 
vember wind, that the Faculty was called to a special meeting to 
receive the announcement that the new President was to be Katha- 
rine Elizabeth McBride. 

When the last days of her Administration came, Marion Park 
strove to avoid, as far as possible, those occasions of adulation 
which go with the act of retirement. She was anxious that all praises 
should be for the College and not for herself. But with such suc- 
cess behind her, full acknowledgment was not to be put by. Hon- 
orary degrees, letters of affectionate recollection from those who 
had worked with her, all these were hers. She had gone about the 
purposes which she pursued, never with partisanship, always with 
inspiring leadership, but so quietly that one might almost feel that 
her own appraisal of herself might have been taken as the final one. 
But time and public opinion were too just for that. Twenty years 
of devoted and wise toil could not be hidden. She was given the 
M. Carey Thomas Award by the Alumnae, their highest honor, 
announced to her by Caroline McCormick Slade on the platform of 
Goodhart at that closing Commencement. With it went the esteem 
and gratitude of all who had in any way to do with the College, in 
recognition of the great legacy she was leaving to them, these spa- 
cious buildings, this even more spacious concept of learning and 
teaching, this deep impression that here was what she had been 
called in her Faculty, "a great liberal." 


Katharine Elizabeth McBride 


A.B. Bryn Mawr College, 
M.A. Bryn Mwwr College, 
Ph.D. Bryn Ma f wr College, 1932 

Chapter XIV 


Courage is demanded of everyone during a war, but there is surely 
need for more than an ordinary measure of it to face taking up the 
administration of a college with World War II just getting into the 
real and deadly swing of its stride. The usual thing had happened, 
historically speaking, when a trustful and peace-loving democracy 
found itself suddenly involved in struggle with adversaries who were, 
even as nations, professionals in the field of military attack. The 
country's ever expanding circle of needs and responsibilities, the 
unsolved problems, the inevitable defeats in the first contests with 
the enemy, the wearing thin of the immediate and excited patri- 
otism and the beginning of knowledge of how long and dreary the 
ordeal was to be, all these had already arrived in those first ten 
months before Bryn Mawr's new President came into office. But 
there was no faltering in the face of these looming difficulties to be 
met and dealt with. Katharine McBride's inauguration was a gay 
and beautiful event, full of the evidence of high intention and new 

Among the Alumnae, in crowded attendance that day, it came 
to a proportion of them as something of a shock to realize that, 
with the advance of Bryn Mawr history, it was now in order to see 
a President appointed who was so much younger than themselves. 
Now, of a sudden, they were the elder statesmen. But respect and 
admiration for the young is as warming and satisfying a sensation 
as respect and reverence for those long established, and just such 


respect and affection Katharine McBride had on every hand. 
Charles J. Rhoads, President of the Board, and Rufus Jones were 
the officials who presided. Rufus Jones, with nearly fifty years of 
devoted service behind him, could not look to see the inaugura- 
tion of another President of Bryn Mawr College. But, as all could 
see, the pride and gratification upon his face and in his voice made 
clear, as he took his part in her induction into office, with what 
happy confidence he and Charles Rhoads entrusted to her the cher- 
ished affairs of the College. 

Besides the fully evident abilities which had been the basis for 
choosing Katharine McBride at the age of thirty-seven for this dif- 
ficult place, other gifts were hers beyond what could have been 
reasonably asked for. She had already, as everyone knew, a high 
reputation for scholarly achievement. She brought brilliance of 
scholarship and, coupled with it, a quality of mind and spirit, that 
were to prove an indescribable but fully tangible asset to the 
College which she was to serve. She brought also unflagging en- 
terprise, a rapid and effective faculty for organization, an extraor- 
dinary and generous capacity for knowing, for liking and for un- 
derstanding people, younger and older. She brought to her decisions 
a strong firmness of conviction, but they were decisions made always 
after true reflection and with the human factor taken into full 
consideration. The College News said of her, in adequate summary, 
"She is both wise and young/* 

In her inaugural address she faced resolutely those difficulties, 
foreseeable and unforeseeable, which the next years of her Admin- 
istration were bound to bring. She spoke of the elements of the 
civilized world, "reason, sympathy, freedom and justice and the 
qualities of growth/' which are the foundation stones of education 
and scholarship. And she declared, "Peril does not undermine them." 

We can see now how it was that those same professional fight- 
ing nations had, from the very beginning, committed the vast blun- 
der of striking at scholarship to overthrow it. Instead it was the 
inexperienced and unpracticed newcomers to the field of war who 
were wise enough to enlist scholarship at once, and, when hostilities 
finally ceased, were to open, as never before, the opportunities for 
higher education. All educational institutions were to feel, first the 
depletion of student bodies in the men's colleges and universities, 


the draining of faculties, the carrying away of scholars into a wider 
and more materially prosperous world, then the flooding in, later, 
of a great tide of students of a different type from any dealt with 
before these would be enough indeed to make every settled sys- 
tem reel. And there was to follow, still later, that seeping stream 
of corrupting propaganda, creeping everywhere, arousing suspicion 
that was like a disease, attacking the integrity of honest thought 
and of free and enterprising mind. This was to be another danger 
still. Those who sat and listened that day knew that they faced dan- 
gers both known and unknown, and yet felt their confidence un- 

The immediate duty of the new President was, of course, to 
take measures to preserve the efficiency of the teaching staff in the 
face of all the inroads now being made upon it. The younger mem- 
bers of the Faculty, both men and women, were already passing 
into the armed services. The older professors, established in dis- 
tinction, were summoned to Washington for this Commission or 
that one, as advisers, as heads of new sections of Government ac- 
tivities, as directors of laboratories or of research. Many of them 
disappeared into those inner recesses of Army or Navy offices where 
the work was "confidential*' and its nature never to be divulged 
even after all was over. 

"A hundred percent loss in Deans, more than thirty- three and 
a third percent loss in Faculty," was Katharine McBride's cheerful 
summing up. It was actually more than that, for the office of Dean 
of the College was vacated twice, as was also that of Dean of the 
Graduate School. No voice in the higher management ever forbade 
their going. Not many stopped to think of what all this meant to 
the Quaker Trustees, to whom war was a greater moral outrage 
than to other people. They accepted fully the right of all to follow 
their own consciences and they responded promptly and generously 
to every notice that came in of one more person's decision to leave. 

But the task of keeping up the work to its normal level be- 
came an ever more desperate one. Here appeared now the full 
worth of the plan for cooperation between the three colleges, all 
of whom were suffering, in greater or lesser measure, in this calling 
away of teachers. Between Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore 
the broken ranks closed up; there was always someone who would 

Marion Edwards Park, Third 
President of Bryn Mawr Col- 
lege, 1922-1942 


Katharine Elizabeth McBride, 
Fourth President of Bryn Mawr 
College, 1942- 



Charles J. Rhoads, Trustee of the College from 1907, President of the 
Trustees and Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1936 to 1956 


take on a greater burden of work, would crowd some of his efforts 
Into smaller time, to come to the assistance of another institution. 
It was, of course, the specialists and those most difficult to replace 
who were usually the ones to be swallowed up by the demands of 
Washington. But somehow a way was always found. It is never to 
be forgotten that those who remained, to face heroic toil, made as 
great a contribution as those who went. The country needed educa- 
tors as much as it needed specialists. 

The high demand for the young graduates of the College was 
full proof of the effectiveness of the new method of teaching and 
independent study. In a world of new techniques, utterly unthought 
of a few years earlier, in no way prepared for now, young minds 
that were highly trained in adaptability and intellectual enterprise 
found their way with a minimum of difficulty. At Bryn Mawr the 
requirement of a reading knowledge of two modern languages had 
been retained, although the old, stylized Orals had been abandoned 
even in President Thomas's time. The guarantee of this extra 
knowledge put the Bryn Mawr alumna into a special category in 
the eyes of the Civil Service. Willingness to work arduously for the 
satisfaction of seeing a job well done, a trait behind the first im- 
pulse to choose Bryn Mawr as a college, was depended upon now by 
an anxious head of personnel trying to fill the insatiable demands 
of his department for a myriad of new workers. "You are graduat- 
ing on Tuesday?" a recruiting agent would say. "Then we can 
count on your reporting for work in Washington on Thursday 
morning." Not even a week end of vacation could be allowed be- 
tween the receiving of the diploma and the embarking upon an 
extraordinary and exacting new life. 

It was a difficult situation for the young graduates, just en- 
tering upon complete independence. There was no time to choose 
a career, to consult, Inwardly, their own cherished impulses or ambi- 
tions. They went where they were needed most, usually without 
being able to know beforehand much of what the nature of their 
work would be. They worked so hard to master the immediate and 
challenging tasks before them, that they had little time to speculate 
upon other possibilities. They were to feel it after the war years 
were over, when suddenly they had to think again as to what way 
of life was really their proper one, what signposts their inward 


instincts really bade them follow. The signs were not so clear after 
that intensive interval which was like nothing that they would ever 
see again. But that problem was to come later; for the time being 
they were rewarded by this bewildering opportunity for employ- 
ment, thankful for the education which had put them so fully in the 
way of it. One saw Bryn Mawr Alumnae everywhere in Washington, 
from Ruth Cheney Streeter, of the Class of 1918, Director of the 
Women's Marine Corps, through the ranks of WAAC and WAVES 
and Coast Guard, on into the multitude of research assistants and 
others of unnamed occupation with strange secrets harbored in their 
capable heads. Certainly as at no time in American history before 
had the field of education been able to offer such contribution to 
the needs of its country. The headquarters in Philadelphia, where 
applicants' records were cleared, had a saying, "Join the FBI and 
see Bryn Mawr." 

As time went on and one war year merged into another, Bryn 
Mawr evolved more long-term plans, taking as hypothesis that the 
needs of the war would be of no short duration, looking forward 
also to the time of reconstruction and restoration to follow. Sum- 
mer courses were introduced for acceleration in the Departments of 
Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics, for in these fields were the 
greatest calls for trained experts. Under the auspices of the United 
States Office of Education courses in photogrammetry were given, 
these being for students outside the College, studying the technique 
of reducing airplane reconnaissance photographs to maps. Techni- 
cal courses in analytical chemistry were also given. 

It was resolved by the Faculty that students who married mem- 
bers of the armed forces "were to have excused absence equal to the 
time of the husband's furlough." There were many girls who had 
had their weddings and their partings and had come back resolutely 
to complete their degrees. The Faculty set itself to restudy the 
curriculum, with a view to solid preparation, possibly through in- 
terdepartmental majors, for future careers in a world under recon- 
struction. Rhys Carpenter, in the Department of Classical Archae- 
ology, spread the contagious magic of his great learning and his 
extraordinary gifts in lecturing over the "Cultural Geography of 
the Mediterranean" as a basis for understanding the peoples and 


places of that large section of the war which was focused there. It 
was hailed as one of the College's finest courses. 

The students had organized among themselves the War Alli- 
ance, an offshoot of their Undergraduate Association, which had 
for its purpose the coordinating and channeling of the restless de- 
sires in everyone to be of some significant use* Classes of instruction 
multiplied everywhere, the usual ones of first aid, home nursing 
and nutrition, which were attended by Faculty and students alike, 
with nurses' aide study as certainly the most important. Many of 
the students did remarkable service on the recreational programs 
of Government hospitals, in particular the nearest one at Valley 
Forge, among the men who had suffered loss of eyesight or facial 
disfigurement. Ordinary extracurricular activities were given up as 
the students collected clothes, packed food, rolled bandages, 

There was a critical season when the hospitals of the whole 
area presented a combined plea for help in their crippled condition 
through the absence of nurses. Could not the young women of the 
educational Institutions in the neighborhood give some organized 
assistance? It was proposed within the College that students in 
good health and good standing should be allowed to cut down their 
courses by half a unit, roughly by five hours a week, if they would 
undertake to give ten hours weekly to training and assistance in 
hospital work. This was to be accompanied by a promise to give 
150 hours' service in the summer. There was much debate over such 
a decision, with the emergency of the moment weighed against the 
responsibility of the College, which had received the students with 
the pledge to give them full measure of education. The insistent 
need, however, was finally considered to be something not to be 
passed over, and the shortened program was allowed. A few of the 
students had already been affording such help in the hospitals with- 
out the respite of decreased academic work, although it was difficult 
to see how they had been able to manage it. A good number em- 
braced the new offer and carried out their undertakings with faith- 

It was probably inevitable that there should arise, in this time 
of high tension, another serious crisis in the Self-Government As- 



soclatlon. In the igso's an undercurrent of criticism and discon- 
tent had brought the question into open meeting as to whether it 
should not be given up entirely. The student body, shocked into 
realization of what it really meant to them, supported it then with 
only one differing vote. Bryn Mawr had never lost its pride in this 
once unique institution, now adopted almost everywhere as a mat- 
ter of course. But in the war years there were bound to be difficul- 
ties of a new sort which the twenty-year-old constitution was not 
adapted to meet. There was spiritual weariness from long anxiety, 
impatience with inconvenient living, unending self-questioning as 
to whether to finish college or to go at once into war service, 
civilian or military. There was unremitting emotional tension over 
private affairs; even the day-to-day watching of the mail was a 
strain in itself. 

Before the eyes of the upperclassmen was the knowledge that 
young women, only a year older than themselves, were carrying 
unbelievably large responsibilities and living most successfully in 
complete and free independence. Why should those who were so 
little younger be subject to regulations as to their behavior and to 
their comings and goings? Many were involved in love affairs, as 
was quite natural, keeping them under constant sense of how rap- 
idly the time was passing, how few were the moments left which 
they and their fiances, or in many cases their young husbands, could 
-spend together, with that black pit of the uncertain future deep 
before them. By 1944 unorganized grumbling had intensified into 
bitter complaints of unjustified restraints, until there was formed 
a group which voiced loudly the idea that Self-Government in itself 
is an anomaly and an anachronism. 

An editorial appeared in the College magazine, the Lantern, 
-suggesting in no uncertain terms that it was time for Self-Govern- 
ment to be abolished and that there be "no separate government 
beyond that of the State." If we do not break any public law, it 
was argued, we can be considered as staying within decent and 
proper limits. The group responsible for this idea based their views, 
they said, on a somewhat vague conception of "individual rights/' 
They made it their business to go from smoking room to smoking 
room, getting the freshmen bewildered and the upperclassmen 
roused. There were not very many of them but they were very 


earnest. The President of Self-Government, Patricia St. Lawrence, 
was in a desperately difficult position; the Self-Government idea 
had always seemed so thoroughly grounded in reason and complete 
acceptance that there were no precedents and no experience to 
show how to meet such a situation. She stood her ground; and those 
who stood with her realized that fallacies were being circulated, 
that the issue was many times being utterly confused. The College 
News by necessity printed the letters of the dissenters, but in its 
own editorials stanchly upheld the value and the proved service of 
Self-Government. When a mass meeting was called and the trench- 
ant question was put to vote, "Shall Self-Government be given up?' r 
though a stout majority was for its continuance, a surprising- 
number raised their voices on the other side. 

True to Bryn Mawr procedure, the President took no stand on 
authority, although she was constantly available for discussion and 
consultation. Counsel from her and from other members of the 
Administration led always toward searching for the real principles 
at stake. Only after the matter had been voted upon and settled did 
Katharine McBride, addressing the students all together, point out 
some further matters which, in the dissenting minds, had not seemed 
to be clear. A Self-Government Association had responsibility to 
the College as a whole, she told them, not merely to individuals, 
not even just to the student body. "The whole welfare of the Col- 
lege," she declared, "requires the respect of the parents, the com- 
munity, the Alumnae and the friends of Bryn Mawr." 

The final result was a review of the constitution, doing away 
with some regulations which had been outgrown, just as the ban on 
smoking had been outworn in the twenties. And one of the most 
important provisions adopted was that every four years there was to 
be a reconsideration of the whole body of regulations and a read- 
justment, when necessary, to keep abreast of the times and conven- 
tions. The Directors approved the new rulings and passed a vote of 
appreciation for Patricia St. Lawrence as "having acted with dis- 
cretion and continuing force in a trying time." 

Under all these conditions, the President's task was a very 
heavy one, but no one was to know from Katharine McBride 
herself how much actual daily labor went into the endless adjust- 
ments, rearrangements and difficult execution which attended what 


once had been normal routine. The Office of Defense Transporta- 
tion Insisted that vacations should be staggered with those of other 
colleges, and attempted at one point to declare that there should be 
no spring holiday at all. This the College realized was entirely 
unwise, and said so; amid the tensions and high-pressure work there 
had to be some break. Free board was offered to all who would be 
willing to remain, a new problem in the Intricate calculations of 
rationing. By 1944 the Office of Defense Transportation had or- 
dered that Commencement must be no more than a local affair, 
with only parents invited who lived in the neighborhood. Week- 
end travel was kept to a minimum. Air-raid drills completely lost 
their humor and their novelty. The Dramatic Workshop was closed 
to save fuel. Wherever there was no precedent or provision for 
settling these unfamiliar questions and difficulties, the President had 
to decide, and did. 

There were larger matters which came up constantly before 
the Faculty, for irregularity and exception were rather the order of 
the day, and there had to be constant adjustment to circumstances 
and understanding of individual situations. A student's petition for 
excused absence to visit her fiance on the eve of his going 
overseas, ended with, "I am trying as hard not to get married, as I 
am to get my degree." It was a fairly frequent truth. It is good to 
remember that she and others like her achieved happily all the 
appropriate ends, immediate and of the future. In more basic mat- 
ters it was plain that time would not stand still in the history of 
education, even for a war, and that there was much of the greatest 
importance to be pondered, tested and decided. With the men's 
institutions so depleted or so filled with programs for military train- 
ing, it was even more true than in World War I that it fell to the 
women's colleges to go on with an unbroken tradition of forward- 
moving education. In difficult discussions in Faculty meetings, Kath- 
arine McBride exercised her right to turn over the Chair to the 
Dean and come down to the floor to offer her own views and 
arguments. Her sagacious good sense was a great addition to the 
matter of weighing a conclusion. If the Faculty disagreed with her 
and the vote was not on the side that she was advocating, she 
supported the conclusion as fully as though it were her own. 

"We must concentrate on what is the College's best contribu- 


tion," she said in her report to the Directors. The deprivations, the 
continued losses of Faculty were in a way a sure measure of how 
large that contribution was. Yet the level of teaching was kept 
up; there was a continual march of young, able and highly trained 
citizens out and into the service of their country. 

The Graduate Department of Social Economy had functioned 
on a wider and wider basis, since its founding in 1915, making, 
finally, for necessary changes. An early and large undertaking in 
Katharine McBride's administration was a complete study and re- 
consideration of its work and the evidence of results. The high 
pressure in industrial life in wartime, the problems of dependent 
families and of disturbed family connections, made greater the 
possibilities of usefulness and the demands of special training. The 
large study in theory and research, such as would lead to an M.A* 
and later to a Ph.D. could not now be so well combined with the 
more practical training as preparation for purely vocational serv- 
ice. In the end it was decided that there should be a separation. 
A newly set-up graduate and undergraduate Department of Sociol- 
ogy and Anthropology would offer courses and research in the 
wider theories of social study and would lead more appropriately 
to the higher degree, particularly that of M.A. The Department of 
Social Economy was to grant a degree of Master of Social Service 
that rested on a thorough training and experience in casework with 
its owrr proportion of necessary theory, complemented now by the 
psychology and psychiatry lectures which had been added to the 
other preparation. A difficult facing of basic facts and a complex 
and careful analysis and readjustment ended by dispelling any pos- 
sible confusion and by returning the department to its full useful- 

The Graduate School was small in those war years, for Govern- 
ment needs had lowered its numbers beyond ordinary calculation. 
So great was the demand for young, agile and well trained minds, 
so tempting the offers of employment elsewhere, in commerce as 
well as in Government, that very few young people felt themselves 
warranted, just then, in spending time for study toward higher de- 
grees. The situation promised trouble later, when so many would 
come back all together to set out on the long road to the doctorate, 
and when there would be a dearth of trained young instructors. 


But that matter was still In the future and not fully foreseen. The 
foreign graduate students who had been coming to Bryn Mawr in 
growing numbers, because of the individual attention that it was 
possible to get there, were now, of course, largely cut off. Since 
there had been such thinning of the ranks of the professors capable 
of giving graduate instruction, the falling off in number was, at the 
time, no great misfortune. 

Contrary to some expectations, the enrollment of undergradu- 
ate students remained nearly the same, the very large value of an 
A.B, degree having become too evident to be overlooked. Again and 
again, however, the upperclassmen would weigh the question, born 
of restlessness and the great desire to be of use, "Shall I go or 
stay?'* Some very difficult decisions were turned over within very 
troubled minds, but they were, for the most part, settled deliber- 
ately and wisely. The Deans and at all times the fantastically busy 
President were available for discussion and good counsel. 

Into the midst of these doubts, difficulties and anxieties Dr. 
Erich Frank came, in 1943, to deliver the Flexner Lectures on 
a study of Philosophy and Religion. He brought unforgettable re- 
assurance to anxious minds in the renewal of awareness of un- 
conquerable truth and of eternal good, present even in so shaken a 
world. He came back later to take a place in Bryn Mawr's Philos- 
ophy Department, where he remained until his retirement six years 
later. What he gave to the College in that time, the light which he 
,shed upon the questions and bewilderments which beset young peo- 
ple just attaining their intellectual maturity in such a misleading 
and turbulent age, would be difficult to appraise. The whole of 
the College regretted the necessity of his retirement, and more 
deeply still mourned his death which followed so soon after. Even 
to his closest friends he had talked little of his days in Germany, as 
a great and distinguished scholar, beloved and consulted by his 
students, admired and applauded by his colleagues, summarily dis- 
missed by the Nazi Government. He never spoke of what it had 
meant to him to go into exile, but he did let fall, more than once, 
.his conviction that these years of his life at Bryn Mawr had been 
the happiest that he had ever known. 

In his own rare person he represented a repeating factor which 
was now moving into American education, small in proportion but 


truly great in significance, for he was early among the advent of the 
refugee scholars. Some of the greatest minds in the world came to 
find asylum in a free country. One thinks with a shudder of those 
who never escaped. The ones to arrive came humble, destitute, with 
nothing material to show for a lifetime of glorious learning. But 
the reputation of scholarship is not merely a national matter; these 
men and women were known and valued; societies were formed to 
aid them; Foundations gave grants for their salaries, as did generous 
individuals like Howard Goodhart. 

Bryn Mawr was specially fortunate in those who came to work 
and teach under her shelter. The Mathematics Department had 
been distinguished by being led on its own part by two world- 
renowned scholars, Charlotte Angus Scott, of the original Faculty, 
and Anna Pell Wheeler, her almost immediate successor. To these 
was now added another, Emmy Noether, a German woman of 
world-wide distinction in the same field. She too spoke of her hap- 
piness at Bryn Mawr, where every effort was made to do full 
justice to what she had to give; special fellowships were set up that 
she might have graduate students worthy of her instruction; warm 
friendship was offered by her immediate colleagues, reverence and 
respect by all. She died all too soon after her becoming a part of the 
College. Practically the same story is that of Eva Fiesel, so pro- 
found a scholar in philology that heads of departments from the 
institutions of the whole neighborhood came to attend her seminary 
on Etruscan inscriptions, from which she was drawing the discovery 
and advancing knowledge of a language heretofore lost to modern 
scholars. Her life also was a short one. Exile, even though it can be 
made happy, seems something that certain natures are not made to 

There were not enough of these great scholars who came to the 
various colleges and universities, to fill the gap left by the count- 
less men and women who had gone into the service of their 
country. What they brought from abroad was something very dif- 
ferent from mere substitution. They carried to us the erudition of a 
different world of learning from our own; they were the preservers 
of that world of profound scholarship wholly lost in the Germany 
which blazed behind them, scholarship once so unique and so 
reverenced in America that in the middle and later nineteenth cen- 


tury the mark of true and professional proficiency was to have 
studied in Germany. Each one who came had tragedy behind him, 
had his or her own tale not often told of danger and escape and 
the destruction of the fruit of years of labor and research. The 
whole institution of American higher education opened its doors to 
them. Bryn Mawr, for one, can bear witness of how great was their 
contribution and, in the hands of those similar ones who followed 
them, how large it continues to be. 

There was a wider ocean and a broader rift which was nearly 
impossible to surmount. A few students of great courage, a few 
scholars, managed to cross that gulf of distance and danger between 
China and the United States, but from Japan there was even more 
meager access to escape. There could be practically no definite 
news, even, of what might be called Bryn Mawr's academic off- 
spring, the two colleges founded by Japanese women who had 
studied with her. Ume Tsuda had been a special student, beginning 
in 1889; she had learned, appreciated and realized how much 
there was to carry back and render into terms which would meet 
the needs of her own people. She founded Tsuda College in 1900, 
through the help of loyal friends in America and Japan. By her 
own determination that every one of her students should be a "true 
seeker for truth/* she and her successor as President, Ai Hoshino 
(Bryn Mawr, 1912), have built and maintained its high reputation 
for education in the fullest sense. This college stood unwaveringly 
for liberal thought even in the blackout of world war, which cut 
them off so completely from their friends at Bryn Mawr. 

Ume Tsuda's coming to America had been through the vision 
of Mrs. Wistar Morris, of Philadelphia. Traveling in Japan in the 
i88o*s, she was deeply distressed over the condition of Japanese 
women and was convinced of the great benefit which American 
education could offer them. She brought Um6 Tsuda back with her, 
aged only fourteen, saw that she had ample preparation in a proper 
school and watched with pleasure what she was getting out of her 
study at Bryn Mawr. What Ume Tsuda subsequently accomplished 
for Japanese women should have been reward enough for Mrs. 
Morris, but she did not, for a moment, think of stopping there. 

She proceeded to organize the Japanese Scholarship Committee, 
unique indeed in that day and vigorously functioning still with 


Mrs. Morris's granddaughter, Mrs. Logan MacCoy, now at its head. 
Every year they raise funds for bringing a Japanese girl to America, 
nor do they insist that she shall enter Bryn Mawr. Several have 
taken degrees with honors; many have offered great service to 
their country at home. One, Yoko Matsuoka, has become a famous 
author. They no longer need a term in a preparatory school; they 
enter Bryn Mawr at once, even sometimes in the junior class or in 
the Graduate School. 

One of the early students brought by this committee was Michi 
Kawai, in the Class of 1904, who returned to Japan, taught briefly 
under Miss Tsuda and in 1929 founded her own school, named it 
Keisen (Fountain of Blessings) and set out with a stout heart and 
few other tangible assets to carry out long-cherished hopes. She did 
not attempt to duplicate what Tsuda College was doing; she began 
first with high-school grades and carried the work finally to the 
college level. Michi Kawai is gone, but her school now numbers a 
thousand students. Her college and Ume Tsuda's have raised up a 
company of young women amply able to take their constructive 
places in Japan's postwar world. The work of the Japanese Scholar- 
ship Committee has been complemented by that of the Chinese 
Scholarship Committee, founded much later, which has been bring- 
ing students to Bryn Mawr since 1920. 

The year 1944-1945 opened at Bryn Mawr with the final neces- 
sity of dropping certain courses from sheer lack of instructors. 
Problems which seemed insoluble mounted and mounted; buildings, 
hopes and cheerfulness all seemed in crucial need of repair. But 
young spirits are not easily quenched; even in the face of a war's 
worst or deadliest aspect young people can manage to be light- 
hearted. Perhaps the most cheerful place in the world for seeing out 
a war is a college. 

Danger to life in heavily bombed England led finally to the 
coming over of many young persons of school and college age; a 
number of Faculty families had their Young Visiters who stayed 
year by year as the war went on. Colleges and universities were 
generous in their scholarships for those who wished to study for a 
degree. The result was an exchange of views and understanding 
among America's and England's rising generations which was to 
show enduring value. One instance at Bryn Mawr was so revealing 


of what that exchange amounted to that it must be here recounted. 
Helen Burch, affectionately known by everyone from the President 
down as Henny, came to the College for two years, then, having 
reached the age for military service, found that she could not en- 
dure to stand apart from the struggle at home and returned to 
spend two years as a WREN. She came back after the war ended to 
complete her last two years, holding many of the undergraduate 
offices, and taking her degree with honors. She was married, a few 
days after graduation, to a member of the Canadian Navy. The wed- 
ding was in the nearby Church of the Redeemer, under crossed 
swords and attended by the large company of her student and 
Faculty friends. 

Because of Government regulations, it had been impossible for 
her family to supply her with funds; the College had seen her 
through with scholarships and grants and had been proud to do it. 
At her Commencement, in 1948, it was announced that her parents 
in England had every year put into the bank the money which they 
would have sent to America for her education. They now offered 
the opportunity for two students to come to England for postgradu- 
ate study. It was a most happy illustration of how one country can 
meet another in the field of education and of what good will can 
arise from such friendly interchange. 

Chapter XV 


A war brings one good moment the homecoming after it is over. 
At Bryn Mawr and at every other such institution there was not 
only the return to family and friends and to the familiar surround- 
ings of happy living; there was also the coming back to chosen 
work, to the field of true fulfillment of special abilities. There had 
been for all those who had been away the sobering experience of 
seeing theories and abstract knowledge put to the uncompromising 
severity of testing in a time of relentless need when only solid 
truth could stand upon its feet. It was with a new spirit that they 
came back to the work of their own intellectual way, to work for 
the creative good of man's knowledge and not for the mere ensur- 
ing of his survival. Everywhere throughout American education 
there were reassembling of forces and readjustment of burdens, a 
relieved laying down of too heavy tasks by those who had so un- 
complainingly borne the brunt at home, a delighted settling in for 
those who had seen far dangers and far distances, or for those who 
had toiled in cramped quarters against pressing deadlines. For all 
there was the change which few could describe, the relief no one 
could give voice to the finding again of the spacious promise o 
scholarly research where the mind could reach into as broad dis- 
tances as it would, the returning to the guiding of young minds 
ready and waiting to be carried as far as instruction could attend 
and advise them. Everywhere the scholarly life was welcoming back 
its own. 




Bryn Mawr could welcome hers with pride, for they returned 
full of honors, Germaine Bree of the French Department with the 
Croix de Guerre; Walter Michels cited for "outstanding perform- 
ance of duty as head of an operational Research Group"; Lincoln 
Dryden with special commendation "for studies of beach landing 
conditions"; Arthur Patterson for "meritorious civilian service in 
notable scientific leadership"; Joseph Sloane as receiving a Navy 
commendation; Roger Wells appointed to the Military Govern- 
ment of Germany ... a list too long for full recording and a 
cross section of that service which scholarship had afforded its 
country. The Navy sent a special message of thanks for research 
in physics; the Johns Hopkins Medical School sent acknowledg- 
ment of Bryn Mawr's lending her campus summer after summer for 
a school of nurses. Katharine McBride had been well justified in her 
backing of the policy of generous permission for leave to be taken 
by every person who asked for it. The educational world had made 
its enormous contribution to the country's war needs, and educa- 
tion had, in turn, obtained a vast practical experience, a hard-won 
wisdom which benefited not only single individuals but permeated 
the whole field of active and current learning. 

"The opportunity is restored, but it is a different kind of 
opportunity," the President said in a report to the Directors. There 
was a great expansion in the area of possible research, so many new 
problems had arisen, so many new lines of necessary knowledge 
had become apparent. There had also entered into the picture the 
feature of special grants and subsidies given by the Government, 
T>y learned societies, by Foundations or commercial companies, to 
support, in greater numbers than they ever had before, the special 
projects of research with all their accompanying complex arrange- 
ments concerning copyrights and patents. These were to continue 
and expand to such an extent as to give a whole new aspect to the 
field of intellectual exploration, especially in science, enlarging it 
and liberating it from earlier stringencies. Along with this greater 
demand on professors' time and interest was the need for meeting a 
larger number of students, because there was increase in the lists 
of applicants everywhere, once the economic tensions of war had 
been relieved. 

The problems of peace promised to be almost as intricate as 


those of the war period, but these, at least, could be solved in the 
atmosphere of joyful relief and ease of mind. Now became evident 
the seriousness of that diminishing of numbers in the graduate 
schools everywhere; the yearly supply of younger scholars, complete 
with Ph.D.s and an instinct for teaching, was simply not there. 
Bryn Mawr was fortunate in losing no one by casualty in the field, 
but there were a certain number of her professors who had chosen 
to remain in Government service or who had made connections 
elsewhere which carried them to other institutions. Like every other 
college, she found some places vacant and with very few promising 
candidates by which to fill them. The whole supply of teaching 
material, especially for higher education, had been so drastically 
cut down that competition became sharp between institution and 
institution for qualified teachers, and for applicants for graduate 
fellowships who would be the teachers of the near future. Into the 
midst of this already tight situation came the Government measures 
called Public Laws 16 and 346, universally known and spoken of as 
the "G. I. Bill of Rights." 

Perhaps no Government measure was ever more wise, more 
generous or more productive of extensive results than was this one. 
It was an unprecedented step, this decision to offer this especially ap- 
propriate recompense to young people who had given their critical 
years, ordinarily devoted to making a start in life, to the service 
of their country. It was a deeply impressive tribute to what college- 
trained American citizens had meant in the resources of a country 
needing the utmost and best from her available manpower. This 
offer of college training at Government expense for all veterans 
of the armed forces was a chance of untold and unhoped-for value to 
young Americans. There were those who, earlier, had left their high 
schools longing to go further but aware that it was economically 
impossible for them, and those who had achieved an A.B. degree 
and knew that they had it within them to attain higher scholarship 
but found it financially out of reach. Most of all there were those 
undergraduates who had left in their college years to join the 
Army or Navy or Air Force and felt, with such interruption, that it 
was scarcely possible to go back. For all of these it was an opportu- 
nity, an incentive, an extraordinary proof of recognition of how 
much was due them who had given so much. Further, the Govern- 


ment's step emphasized the fact, not yet fully recognized, that 
higher education must and should be taken as an Inherent right of 
those qualified to receive it, and that, for the future, American 
parents and American citizens must look more liberally upon the 
aspirations of their young people. 

Everyone who had to do with education at that time remembers 
in what numbers, In what floods the applicants presented them- 
selves at the doors of the colleges and universities of their choice, 
until the Inundation was so great that finally it was no longer a 
matter of choosing; they must accept entrance at any place which 
was not obliged to turn them away. It was the evident part of the 
women's colleges to accommodate the girls who could not be given 
places at the coeducational institutions now overflowing with vet- 
erans. But this was not enough. Men were being turned away every- 
where, from pure necessity, and yet it had been promised that 
everyone eligible should have his full share of education. Large 
plans had been made, plans which could be extended under pres- 
sure, but no one had foreseen that the pressure would be so great. 

It required much weighing of many questions before it could be 
decided whether or not Bryn Mawr should open its doors to the 
men veterans, where the men's institutions were not sufficient to 
meet the need. Boys in the classes, or masculine figures at the 
reading desks in the Library, were no complete novelty, for under 
the plan of cooperation of the three Quaker colleges, more stu- 
dents had come from Haverford to Bryn Mawr than the other way 
about. But that had been a fairly simple matter, where the courses 
were already integrated and belonged to established patterns. It 
was far more difficult to fit in these new applicants who came from 
a completely outside source, with previous training and definite 
needs quite other than anything Bryn Mawr had dealt with before. 
But, where they were sufficiently qualified, accepted they were 
and, when Haverford and Swarthmore could take no more, Bryn 
Mawr fitted them into the plan of courses skillfully enough, en- 
rolling them as day students. There were, in the end, no very great 
number of them, and year by year the group diminished as there 
came to be room for them elsewhere. The overflowing numbers 
were so profuse everywhere that temporary organizations were 
finally set up by the Government in different neighborhoods, to 


take care of those for whom there was no more definite place. Thus, 
In the end, these newcomers to the campus were absorbed Into a 
system of their own, and the Dean's office drew a long breath again 
as course lists assumed their normal tenor. The presence of the 
young men had, apparently, been no very great distraction; all 
concerned were bent on an education, boys and girls alike, and 
continued to pursue it. It was, however, a more difficult and gen- 
erous effort on the part of the Bryn Mawr management than can be 
fully realized now, especially in view of the College's struggle to 
make Faculty appointments. But it was undertaken by all con- 
cerned as being the right measure to support an eminently right 
Government policy. 

What made a larger and more important element in the College 
body came through the growing influx of foreign students, both in 
the graduate and in the undergraduate schools. They brought, first 
of all, a fuller and much more startling knowledge of what young 
people had been through during those hidden years. From the 
undergraduates one learned something of the "Youth Movement" 
In Germany, its insidious undermining of national integrity. 

"At first I thought It was all splendid," one of the younger 
German refugees said of her first Introduction, at school, to Nazism. 
"The marching and the songs and the flags, I could not have enough 
of them. Then my mother took me into her room one day and made 
me see how, by race, I could never be one of the Nazis. It was the 
worst hour of my life." 

The young Chinese students would tell, by casual mention in a 
theme, of walking half across China dressed in peasant clothes, 
traveling by night for safety against bombs, against bandits, against 
treacherous betrayals, to join fellow students in the university set 
up in the rough quarters of Chungking. It was nothing, they seemed 
to think, for a girl of fifteen or sixteen to embark upon a plane and 
set off alone to a new life and to purely hypothetical friends whom 
she had never seen. The refugee students were welcomed, made to 
feel the worth and dignity of their effort in coming so far with such 
courage. The undergraduates raised money for special foreign stu- 
dents' scholarships to supplement those which the College was strain- 
ing every resource to give. 

When world affairs had somewhat disentangled themselves, 


there came to lecture Elizabeth Gray Vining, alumna of Bryn Mawr 
and the person chosen to be the special tutor to the Japanese 
Crown Prince. Coming out of Goodhart immediately after, the 
Dean of the Graduate School, Lily Taylor, said firmly, "We must 
have students from Japan again/' 

Preparations were already going forward to make that possible. 
A captain in the occupying forces had written to ask whether Bryn 
Mawr would take a series of internes who would work in the Gradu- 
ate School and study the organization of American four-year col- 
leges. A fellowship had been voted, and there came to hold it Taki 
Fugita {Bryn Mawr, 1925), one of the staff of Tsuda College who 
was to go back, presently, to become Director of the Women's 
Bureau in the Japanese Government's Department of Labor. There 
came also from Keisen, Hanna Kawai not a relative of Michi who 
had founded the College to study the methods of the new Bryn 
Mawr and to return to Japan to be assistant principal at Keisen. 
Thus it was that after such wide parting, the College in America 
received messages and messengers from those two institutions which 
had planted in another hemisphere the seed of her own sort of 
liberal education. 

The State Department had sent out warning earlier to the 
colleges and universities of America to make preparation for a 
great increase in foreign graduate students, set in motion by the 
crowding and the destruction in the universities of Europe. These 
were to be brought, for the most part, through the auspices of the 
Institute of International Education. Being older and more respon- 
sible, they had, more than the younger undergraduates, thrilling 
and deeply moving tales to tell of their years under German oc- 
cupation. Usually the story was never told but once, in the confi- 
dential interview in the Dean's office, where details were given for 
purposes of simple information. "Nearly all of the students in the 
universities who were old enough were members of the Resistance," 
they reported. Beyond that the account varied, according to circum- 
stances and the chances of fortune. 

"The night I was arrested I was on my bicycle; I might have 
got away but the front wheel hit the curb and I fell. A girl on the 
sidewalk rushed up to me and said, 'Those are German police who 
are calling to you/ and I answered only with my father's name and 


address. She could tell him and my mother what had happened; 
otherwise they would never know." There were stories of prison 
camps, of forced labor and terrible living conditions, of perilous 
escape when the advance of the liberating armies made the threat of 
a massacre of prisoners so great that any risk was worth the taking. 
Word came back that Marcelle Parde, brilliant and beloved in- 
structor in the French Department of a few years earlier, had died 
of starvation in the camp for women political prisoners at Ravens- 
briick. She had organized her school at Dijon into a Resistance 
unit and had furnished invaluable information bearing on the in- 
vasion of Normandy. Of the teachers in her school who were ar- 
rested with her, not one came back. 

The psychiatric service for consultation, now added to the 
Health Department of the College, was to find its deepest problems 
among these young people who could not possibly go through those 
torn and broken years without suffering deep effects. Yet for those 
who could not bear to look back upon the immediate past there was 
the consolation of throwing themselves into the academic tasks at 
hand, to build for the future. And all of them had the same com- 
ment: "They take so much trouble over us, all of our professors! 
We can go to them with anything at any time. Even before the war 
such a way was not possible in our own universities." To be an 
individual, and a valued one, and not merely a name put down 
among many, was an idea at first received with incredulous sur- 
prise, then with relief and as a strong incentive to work to the 
fullest extent possible. 

The center of this whole situation was still the matter of main- 
taining the necessary kind and quality of teachers, of filling up 
depleted ranks, of enlarging the Faculty and finding young candi- 
dates and keeping those who had, in the years past, earned dis- 
tinction for themselves and the College. Even how to accomplish 
reasonable promotions was a complex problem. The existing en- 
dowment could not afford this increase in expense; as has been 
told, the addition of numbers of students gave only a proportion 
of the increase of income that, it seemed at first sight, should come 
with them. In 1946, therefore, the Alumnae offered to organize for a 
drive for a new addition to the endowment, two million dollars to 
be gathered in the next two years, a promise made with full knowl- 


edge of how many and how recent had been the drives for war 
bonds, for the Red Cross, for foreign relief. By earnest request 
Caroline McCormick Slade, of the Class of 1896, came forward once 
more to direct what was perhaps the most difficult undertaking 
which the Alumnae of Bryn Mawr had yet faced. 

Mrs. Slade had taken part in every campaign for raising 
money upon which the College had entered. When she left Bryn 
Mawr in 1896 the endowment was in the neighborhood of $350- 
ooo; at her death, fifty-five years later, it was $9,000,000. Without 
the able help which always supported her, she could never have 
accomplished so much, but her leadership, her organizing ability, 
her utter refusal to take any account of reverses made, in the end, 
the great factor of success. Her contribution was not through the 
mere fact of money-getting, for it was her devotion to the College 
and her immediately kindling vision when a new need arose that 
carried the efforts, the enthusiasm and the willing labors of others 
at high tide through the whole term of an undertaking. She died in 
1950 after having been thirty years a Director, after having known 
all four Presidents, after being the warm friend and counselor of 
three of them. The thread of her life and spirit ran through the 
fabric of the College's history for close to sixty years, not as a link 
with the past there was nothing of the past in her ever alert and 
untiring personality but as evidence of the continuity, the real 
unity of spirit and devotion which began with Jarnes Rhoads and 
had come so far and in such unbroken directness since. 

She was associated in this drive with Caroline Chadwick-Col- 
lins, of the Class of 1905, that resourceful and variously gifted 
person who held the position of Director in Residence, a place 
created by the Board of Trustees to show appreciation of her serv- 
ices in Public Relations, in money raising, in many uncharted 
channels of usefulness. Because of the illness which obliged Mrs. 
Chadwick-Collins to withdraw, Helen Manning assumed Caroline 
Chad wick-Collins 's share of the direction and carried it stanchly to 
the end. The conditions of the time made heavy odds, but three- 
quarters of the first million was announced as having been gathered 
by the 1947 Commencement. So great was the confidence of the 
Directors in the final fulfillment of the Alumnae promises that they 
advanced the necessary money from existing funds and raised the 



salaries of the Faculty Immediately. The fund was fully completed 
by June of 1 948. 

Meanwhile, work was going forward on the Plan of Govern- 
ment, which, adopted in 1916, had long been due for revision. This 
very complex matter had been postponed until the full Faculty 
would return from its journeyings and be present to debate it. The 
procedure concerning tenure of position was one which needed 
especially to be clarified. Now a carefully working committee 
brought in a report on revision of the Plan, section by section, 
which was argued over, considered and reconsidered, before being 

The earlier Plan had given to the Faculty the right of recom- 
mending measures to the Board of Directors, with whom lay the 
final responsibility for the College, recommendations which, in 
point of fact, had practically always been carried out. But this new 
constitution, for that is what it has amounted to, puts into written 
and explicit agreement the liberal usage which had been develop- 
ing during the years of the Plan's existence, making a step forward 
beyond the practice of all but a few other places. For instance, if it 
seems necessary to remove, for special cause, a member of the 
teaching staff who has been given indefinite tenure, it can only be 
done by recommendation of the President to the Board of Directors, 
and that recommendation, after a full and complete hearing has 
been held, is not to be made unless the decision is supported by 
four of the five members of the Appointment Committee. 

The long and minute debate over the changes came to an end; 
the new Plan of Government was voted on and passed, to be ratified 
by the Board of Directors in June, 1950, a significant advance in the 
operational structure of American education. 

In those years between the end of the war and 1950 many new 
adjustments were made, and much deep thinking was done. The 
opportunities of which Katharine McBride had spoken had been 
weighed and examined as each one came forward. The presence of 
the foreign students in such numbers had given everyone matter for 
deep consideration. These young people were all looking so hope- 
fully to American education to render them better able to meet 
that difficult life which they were to face at home. The College 
itself learned much in that close contact between teacher and stu- 


dent which was the basis of the Bryn Mawr curriculum. It became 
clear that the new learning, thus applied to foreign minds, was not 
such a simple thing. The utterly different racial impulses, the cen- 
turies of another tradition and culture stood in the way of literal 
acceptance of what was being offered now. The manner and sub- 
stance of American education, founded upon the manner and sub- 
stance of American democracy these were the two Important con- 
cepts for these newcomers to carry away. But the plain pattern of 
Western ideas, it began to be revealed, could not be transferred 
whole into Asian thinking, into age-old European custom. All that 
American education could really do was to show the fruits of the 
experiment in freedom as Americans had tried it, to let that exam- 
ple be the basis for some future pattern forming itself in the en- 
lightened thinking of newly awakened minds. Where it had acted on 
a first, too simple premise of laying down a chart to be copied, 
American education must reconsider and try again. 

In all of this searching out of opportunity, the vision was 
forward and not backward. Stress has been laid on the war record 
of members of the College, and on their contribution, because that 
contribution was the most tangible and the most evident. It is not 
so easy to set forth what has been done, what was being done, for 
ultimate and permanent peace. Mankind is obliged to fight wars 
while waiting for the perfection of the will and the structure of an 
organization which will establish continuing peace for a seeking 
civilization. Those who belong to Bryn Mawr feel that she shines a 
little by reflected glory when they consider the accomplishment and 
recognition of certain ones who have labored so valiantly in this 
wider field. 

Charles G. Fenwick, Professor of International Law in the De- 
partment of Political Science, gave the summer of 1939 to making 
addresses abroad in a final urging of public opinion toward the 
negotiation of differences, a principle which was to be overwhelmed 
and quenched, for the time being, by the determined ambition of 
dictatorship government. In his later work for cooperation among 
the American countries, he has been a member of the Neutrality 
Committee of the Pan-American Union and is now Director of the 
Department of International Law for the Organization of Ameri- 
can States. He was recently given the award of the Catholic As- 



sociation for International Peace, for the notable work which he 
has done for this gradual joining of interest and friendship which 
has begun to play its solid part in the affairs of the three Americas. 

Rufus Jones, known for so many other acts of leadership, had 
been one of the founders of the Friends Service Committee which 
came into being in the First World War, and brought it forward to 
an enlarged sphere of usefulness in the Second, reaching the out- 
lying corners with succor for bodily needs and steadying moral 
support in the pitifully devastated byways of Europe, the remote 
and unknown scenes of struggle and suffering in Asia. Quakers 
have always worked for peace and for the long-time enterprise of 
abolishing war, but when the tidal wave of war has actually broken 
upon the world it is Quakers who are at the forefront of those 
dangerous, thankless tasks which noncombatants who are also men 
of good will must always carry out. Well organized and far-ex- 
tended benefit was spread in the years of 1940-1945 by the Friends 
Service Committee. Part of the Bryn Mawr students* general pro- 
gram of fund raising has always gone as a contribution to this 
work; many of the ablest Alumnae, and of these many who are not 
Quakers, have joined in the Committee's efforts. When, within a 
short time of his death and with the war well past, Rufus Jones 
gave up the chairmanship, his place was taken by Henry Cadbury, 
also Trustee of Bryn Mawr, also a scholar of deep knowledge in 
the philosophy of good and evil, also a man of inspiring good will 
for his fellow men. 

And there is another, single figure, to whom Bryn Mawr 
thoughts turn with gratitude and pride for work well done where 
work is very hard to do. Emily Greene Balch, member of that first 
class of 1889, first European Fellow, scholar of deep learning and 
indefatigable intention, has spent her life first in the study of social 
injustice, later in unremitting toil for the cause of peace. As a 
teacher in economics during that simpler period when politics and 
economics were taught together she never failed to point out to 
her students the historic weight of those several and ever growing 
efforts to establish world peace which have appeared again and 
again, only, apparently, to go down defeated under the tidewash 
of human passion and human fears. 

In 1915 she asked for leave of absence from Wellesley, where 


she was teaching, so that she might join Jane Addams on that 
project of calling a Congress of Women at The Hague to discuss 
what women could do toward bringing peace to the world then being 
rent by World War I. It was while she was taking part in that 
enterprise that Emily Balch formulated a plan for trusteeship of 
undeveloped countries, a principle of which we hear so much to- 
day with little acknowledgment of that mind which devised and 
made public such a progressive idea. Theoretical peacemakers, no 
matter what their quality and ability, were not popular in that 
bewildered time. It was her own suggestion that her presence at 
Wellesley might be embarrassing to the College; she took leave of 
absence without pay until the war was over, and took, finally, 
without protest or complaint, the decision of the College not to 
renew her appointment because of the objection of certain of the 
Trustees. She pursued her chosen way as International Secretary 
for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, 
which had grown out of The Hague meeting. Its headquarters were 
at Geneva, where the League of Nations was soon to follow them. 
Here she worked long and steadily over organization and research, 
voicing more and more the conclusions which she had reached: 

"The political nationalistic tension is all intermingled with the 
social-economic unrest. . . . What we need is a substantial 'peace* 
structure. . . . There is also the still more difficult work of trying 
to deal with the sources of trouble, the injustices, stupidities and 
inadequacy of the system (or lack of system) from which the 
peoples of the world are trying to escape by different paths." 

In 1946 Emily Balch was given a share in the Nobel Prize for 
the notable work of her scholarly lifetime in the furthering of 
peace, and the ideas upon which future peace must be founded. 
Although it was not in the same year, the Friends Service Commit- 
tee had the same award and the same honor for its accomplishment 
in the same great cause. Emily Balch has given her medal of the 
Nobel Prize to Bryn Mawr. 

No one can speak of Emily Balch without, in the same breath, 
coming to Alice Gould, even though their accomplishments, schol- 
arly and profound in both cases, lay in different fields. They 
entered the second class at Bryn Mawr, coming together from the 
same Boston school and graduating with the first class, following the 


first of the very rare acceleration projects. They both stood at the 
very top of the class in the excellence of their work. The Class of 
1889 can speak of them as her two European Fellows. 

Even in the long years which have gone by since her gradua- 
tion, there has been no more distinguished, patient and effective 
study than that which Alice Gould has pursued. Her chosen subject 
was the voyages of Columbus; in particular she was concerned with 
discovering the make-up of that varied crew of adventurers, ref- 
ugees from justice and heroic voyagers and discoverers who were 
his companions. Out of the eighty-nine who sailed with him on that 
first stupendous journey, "only four of them had been in jail," 
she declared with authority, thus doing away with the theory that 
the great admiral-to-be went to sea with ships manned only by the 
offscourings of the Spanish prisons. The whole of her working life, 
forty-two years, was devoted to this single subject, this one example 
of bringing close the apparently unreachable past, and the demon- 
stration of how unremitting search can recapture what seemed ut- 
terly lost. The Spanish Government, realizing the great importance 
of her work and the new lines of research which she had uncovered, 
gave her, in 1927, the Cross of Alfonso and, in 1951, awarded her 
the high honor of the Cross of Isabella the Catholic. They were just 
tributes to her long and fruitful study of America's and Spain's 
common hero. These two women have indeed brought honor to the 
College where the beginnings of their great scholarship were so 
happily nurtured. 

Bryn Mawr is justly proud of her long list of distinguished 
Alumnae, women of rare gifts and accomplishment who have 
touched and contributed to every aspect of American society. No 
record of this scope can pretend to name even a fraction of them. 
It has been necessary, therefore, to speak, for the most part, only 
of certain ones as they enter individually upon the scene of the 
College's story. As a body, however, the Alumnae, with their stimu- 
lating and untiring interest in the conduct of the College, have 
been and always will be a vital part of the Bryn Mawr history. 

Chapter XVI 


The achievements in the academic field, the advances in thought 
and experience which came with the war years and those immedi- 
ately following, were naturally and necessarily attended by the 
material changes which belonged to them. Greater funds had been 
gathered for the paying of more proper salaries and for the protec- 
tion of a Faculty beset by offers to go elsewhere. The need for 
greater space to take care of the steadily increasing student body 
was just as plain. The foreign students would continue to apply 
for American education as long as American leadership, American 
ability and clear thinking stood as a hope for a still staggering 
world. The G.I. Bill of Rights would educate its veterans, and that 
pressure would pass; but it had brought final proof before public 
opinion of how desperately a great part of America's young peo- 
ple hungered and thirsted for higher education, and how eminently 
many of them deserved it. Bryn Mawr was making no plan for 
attempting to increase the number of its students; it was, instead, 
finding it obligatory to assume the responsibility for its own pro- 
portional share of the greatly extended student population of the 

The now fully recognized special mission of the Graduate 
School in relation to the needs of the time made it clear that, with 
its methods and its objectives, it was something apart and should 
have even more of its own standing. The more friendship and 
understanding between the two sets of students, the better, for each 
had something to give to the other, but each must have ample 
means for meeting its own needs. The facilities for the Graduate 



School were obviously too narrow, but it was necessary to await 
the best opportunity to set that matter right. 

The chance came rather suddenly, when there was put upon 
the market the building across Roberts Road from the campus, 
the Wright School, now for some years unoccupied. Properly re- 
modeled, it could hold as many students as Radnor had been capa- 
ble of doing, and by freeing Radnor, pressure of overcrowding in 
the other halls of residence could be relieved. The word "dormi- 
tory" was never applied to what was now to be called the Graduate 
Center, it was so evident to everyone's eyes that here was some- 
thing far more, dedicated to a more complex design, the embodi- 
ment of one of Bryn Mawr's largest purposes. 

The problem of acquiring the place was far from simple. In 
the summer of 1947, when it became available, the $2,000,000 
drive was still in progress, having taken longer than the hopeful 
Alumnae had expected, and was absorbing all their efforts into 
raising funds for endowment. The Directors, with the consent of 
the Trustees who were the real controllers of financial matters, 
again took the step of considering such a purchase as an investment, 
a putting of the College's money into income-bearing property. If a 
practical plan for meeting and amortizing the cost of the building 
could be determined upon, the project could be undertaken. 

Pembroke was the last building paid for by Taylor money; 
Rockefeller and the Library were the first put up by private sub- 
scription alone; Rhoads was the first venture of the Trustees in this 
new policy of investment. This last was not a mere adding up of 
dollars and cents on a balance sheet and arriving at a conclusion; 
it was an experiment now well tested and of a sagacity and bold- 
ness which was to yield the College much benefit. The success with 
Rhoads and the visible prospect of its repaying its cost to the 
College in due time made it possible now to take the step again. 

After being purchased, the building stood for most of the win- 
ter in its unoccupied aspect, amid its tangle of unkempt grass. By 
spring plans were complete and energetic activity set in motion. 
When autumn came the students moved in with the hammering and 
riveting still going on about their ears, with the kitchens unfinished 
so that for a time meals had to be taken in the other halls. 

"The Graduate Center?" said a cheerful taxi man to a student 



telling him where she wished to be taken. "Huh, you ought to see 
It!" She was not daunted when she did see it; scaffolding and lum- 
ber and ladders were mere promises for the future, and its broader 
accomplishment It took a number of weeks for the Graduate 
School, moving out of Radnor with the undergraduates hot upon its 
heels, to settle down to the gracious and rewarding life which 
the new plans and the new building made possible. There was 
ample room now for official guests, for discussion meetings, for 
social gatherings to which Faculty and undergraduates were invited, 
where students of different nationalities were asked to speak and 
who cast light, many times unconsciously, upon the problems at 
home which had led them to seek education in America. The Grad- 
uate Club, which took the place both of the Undergraduate Associa- 
tion and of the Association for Self-Government, entered on wider 
responsibilities and gave to the successive students who were head 
of it a broadening and illuminating experience of opportunities 
and duties. 

The use of College funds for building investment was only to 
be applied to income-bearing property, and was also still an exper- 
iment. Therefore the Directors felt they could not take action when 
the Scull property became available for purchase, the pleasant 
steep-roofed, tree-surrounded house standing in wide grounds at 
the western corner of what might be called the natural boundaries 
of the campus. These are Roberts Road, New Gulph Road, Morris 
Avenue, Merlon Avenue, and two small thoroughfares, Yarrow 
and Wyndon Avenues. It was difficult for those interested to sit 
by and see the house offered and offered again, to see a strip at a 
time sold from the aggregate of the property and still to have it 
plain that it was not sound business to plunge in and buy it. It 
was an undergraduate member of the consultative committee who 
finally saw in the possible purchase of the barn for a Field House the 
opportunity to do honor to Miss Applebee, that stanch supporter 
of field sports and sportsmanship. Two of the Alumnae had also 
been urging upon their Association that the property must be 
bought before it was lost permanently to the College. The Alumnae, 
therefore, urged the Directors to borrow the money and undertook, 
on their part, to underwrite the subsequent debt. It was by this 
same procedure that Wyndham had been retrieved at the last rnin- 


ute when it had almost slipped through Bryn Mawr's hands, a 
move which had brought a wonderfully successful asset to the Col- 

The Scull property was accordingly bought in 1951. The dwel- 
ling house was renamed West House and turned to a use which 
at that moment was crying for just such accommodation. For a small 
college like Bryn Mawr, building up its ways and means as it went 
forward, every move, every acquisition was of the nature of an 
adventure. Each step is ever a vindication of the truth of that 
sustaining Quaker phrase, "A way will be found/' 

The Phebe Anna Thome Fund, so overburdened by debt in 
1930 that the Directors had decided that it could go no further in 
its educational program, was now, thanks to patient and watchful 
management, on its feet again. The last debts had been cleared, 
the last bonds canceled. Once more the income was free for service 
to education. It was decided, on careful thought, that the reopen- 
ing of the same sort of secondary school as before was no longer 
advisable, for the excellent preparatory schools of the neighbor- 
hood were carrying on satisfactorily much the sort of training which 
the Phebe Anna Thorne Model School had set out to establish. It 
was evident now that the real lack was that of a school for younger, 
preschool children. And it was true, also, that in the training of 
young teachers, the smaller children gave better opportunity for 
study and observation. 

The Phebe Anna Thorne Nursery School, therefore, moved 
into the newly acquired house, which proved itself unusually well 
adapted for such a purpose. The upper floor was given to the 
Child Study Institute, that branch of the College's work in educa- 
tion which had begun so long ago under Miss Thomas's first plan 
and had continued through all these years to give expert psychologi- 
cal services and advice to the schools of the neighborhood, the first 
field for the activity and responsibility of Katharine McBride. 
Downstairs the parlors, the dining room and the garden space out- 
side have all lent themselves to the needs of children's daily school 
affairs, the background for the familiar companionship with other 
children which is the beginning of education itself. 

On any day you can see here the intent and conscientious small 
housekeeper waiting on her dolls or making her corner immaculate 



with dustpan and broom; see the future business executive taking 
large hold of a game and learning, by means which he never rec- 
ognizes, that If he wants to be the center he must learn to lead and 
not dominate. You see the shy child who tends to slip away into a 
corner drawn Into play with the rest, and the child who has always 
had everything his own way rinding out that there can be other ways 
even pleasanter to follow. The appointed teachers and their student 
assistants are an integral part of this small, ordered tumult, this busy 
and profitable playing. To Mrs. Cox, the head and executive of the 
School, and responsible for the plans and arrangements, large con- 
gratulation is due. Here is a wreath of small roses to add to the 
laurels of Bryn Mawr. 

It had always been a pleasant sight to those students who had 
a feeling for the out-and-out country to see the very small and en- 
terprising farm which was carried on upon the Scull property, the 
horses, cows, ducks and chickens which had their unexpected being 
in the midst of the shaven lawns and barberry hedges of a sophisti- 
cated city suburb. The barn, therefore, was large enough to meet 
admirably the uses of a Field House, for athletic meetings, picnic 
suppers and gatherings of all sorts of a gay and informal nature. 
Its opening was marked by an Applebee festival, with Constance 
Applebee herself present, with much deserved tribute given and 
many reminiscences recalled from the vigorous past. 

"Did you have any athletics when you were in College?" an un- 
dergraduate of 1950 once inquired of an Alumna of 1907. The 
younger generations, with their multiplied activities, little recked of 
the extent and intensity of the feeling for sports which existed dur- 
ing what might be called the "Applebee Period" in Bryn Mawr 
outdoor affairs. She had introduced field hockey for women into 
America from England and had instilled into the Bryn Mawr stu- 
dents such zest for the carrying on of all field sports that she would 
have a dozen teams in course of practice through the same season. 
She had besides been counsellor, mediator, and stimulating ad- 
viser to individuals, clubs and societies. To be coached by her on 
the hockey field was an experience unlike any other in the world, 
startling but salutary; her method of carrying on gym classes was, 
to say the least, never dull. It was truly satisfying to think of the 
Field House as bearing her name. 



A conference on child study opened the Child Study Institute 
in West House. Those who had taken part in the older Phebe Anna 
Thorne School, either as pupils or as teachers, could well rejoice 
over this new setting forth, with such sound facilities and plans, and 
such abundant promise. 

The gradual introduction of the Graduate Center to its full 
uses, and the careful preparations made in West House for the new 
version of the Phebe Anna Thorne School, were in sharp contrast to 
the hasty taking over of the Mellon property at the opposite ex- 
treme of the campus boundary and called East House. It had been 
rented from time to time by the College for extra students, and 
when finally the College found itself able to buy it, out of funds 
that could be used for income-bearing property, there were a dozen 
uses already waiting. 

When the sale was finally completed in 1953, the moment was 
so late in the fiscal year that, if the place were to qualify as tax 
exempt for use by a nonprofit educational institution, occupation 
must be at once. The Social Economy Department, bursting its 
seams in its existing quarters, moved in literally overnight, with ta- 
bles and desks, bookcases and files wafted from the Library and the 
little pagoda which was the last material relic of the old Phebe 
Anna Thorne School Taking the move in its stride, the work of 
the department went on without visible interruption while the Col- 
lege caught its breath and deliberated on what should be the real 
and final office of this new possession. It was, in the end, given over 
to quarters for students, to relieve the existing pressure in halls 
again overcrowded, and space for the Social Economy Department 
was set up elsewhere. A College can no more help growing than can 
a vigorous oak tree. Even outwardly and materially a college is apt 
to grow in four geographical directions at once, as is clear to those 
who attempt to lay out new space on any plan of its campus. 

In 1953 Bryn Mawr lost one of her dearest and closest friends 
in the death of Howard Goodhart, who had so long and so carefully 
watched over the great and the small needs of the College and, like 
Mary Garrett, had always been ready to come forward with timely 
help when other aid was lacking. His last gift was the magnificent 
bequest of his books to the College, the center and core of the col- 
lection being his medieval library with its treasure of incunabula 


and rare manuscripts. Bryn Mawr became at once one of the lead- 
ing repositories in the country of research material in the literature 
of the Middle Ages, of volumes which the great libraries of the 
country would have been proud to own. In Howard Goodhart's 
memory a Fellowship in Medieval Studies was founded, to take 
full advantage of Bryn Mawr's rare possessions. His daughter, Phyl- 
lis Goodhart Gordan, had been authorized by his will to keep any 
items which she wanted, but in her generosity to the College she 
gave the great majority to Bryn Mawr. In combination with 
her mother's class she and they made possible a new and enlarged 
Rare Book Room for the safe and appropriate keeping of these 
valuable additions to the Library. She and her husband have as- 
sumed, as a legacy from her father, this continued interest and care 
for the welfare of the College, even as before, celebrating their 
anniversaries with gifts to Bryn Mawr. The growth of the College, 
in its tangible and intangible increase, has been notably aided over 
a long stretch of years by Goodhart friendship and generosity. 

Out of the welter of problems, necessities and limitations 
brought by the war and its aftermath, there came, through the far- 
seeing provision of certain minds in Washington, a new element in 
college education everywhere, the Fulbright Awards. Sponsored 
first by a young Senator who had been a Rhodes scholar, a profes- 
sor and a college president, this arrangement, beginning in 1950, 
was financed by the funds which foreign countries owed to the 
United States for the purchase of surplus war material. These new 
awards offered opportunity to study abroad, first to young graduate 
students, then to professors on higher and higher levels of teaching 
and research. Where the G.I. Bill of Rights had opened the wide 
range of undergraduate education to those for whom it would other- 
wise have been out of reach, the Fulbright Act was a similar libera- 
tion in the field of advanced study. 

The inauguration of the program has given full recognition to 
the fact of how great an office is that of education in the increase 
of international understanding. It is early yet to see the full results 
it is difficult even to envision the time when our young people 
who have studied side by side with Britons and Gauls and Swiss and 
Scandinavians will have come to high place in government and com- 
merce and when complex and harsh questions between country and 


country can be discussed among old acquaintances and friends in- 
stead of between total strangers, knowing nothing of one another's 
national characteristics and problems. But already it is clear that 
those colleges and universities abroad which have received our 
American scholars and lecturers, and those who have returned home 
from their terms of research or teaching overseas, have a new ad- 
mixture added to the sum of their thinking and learning. 

The Fulbright, the Guggenheim and many other awards, 
the grants from great foundations, all involving departure for a 
year or more to work elsewhere, have added great complication to 
already complex academic schedules. But the steady administrative 
policy has still been to let all go who so desired, and to compensate 
somehow for the absences, sometimes comparable in number to 
those brought about by the war. There is always taken into account 
the ultimate benefit to the individual, and through him indirectly 
to the College, to education itself. There has also been a certain 
diminution in the best applicants for the College's graduate fellow- 
ships, since the ampler Fulbrights carry them elsewhere. But these 
are small matters in the face of a breadth of experience and under- 
standing which advanced study can now take on, entering on a new 
and wider phase with this strong support behind it. 

A college thus grows in its geographical directions and extends 
itself into other intangible dimensions. Wider extent comes with 
the increase in the number of students and their assumption of re- 
sponsibility; greater depth comes as the aggregate of human knowl- 
edge grows and the fields of research, explored and inviting ex- 
ploration, widen before men's eyes. More solidity comes with the 
increase in number of Faculty and in the addition of course after 
course, as material for them offers more in new knowledge and in 
the demands of the students for that knowledge. 

It is interesting to take here a brief survey of that growth in 
the curriculum and the list of courses through the years, rather over- 
whelming to observe that the original Faculty of nine carried on 
the work of what became, very soon, fifteen departments. There 
were originally philosophy, mathematics, Greek, Latin, German, 
French, Spanish, Italian and, in a single department, history, polit- 
ical science, and economics; biology, botany, chemistry, physics, 
English, and a changing group of studies which can best be desig- 


nated as history of religion. French, Spanish and Italian were 
classed together as Romance languages; botany was given up after 
three years, nor has it been renewed; physics was not formally or- 
ganized for the first two years for want of a laboratory. This there- 
fore is the approximate curriculum for 1885 and the years imme- 
diately following. 

Natural separation, growth and the addition of other courses 
have raised this early number of departments to twenty-five. Nor 
have all these new courses and departments emerged and survived by 
any uniform process, but by addition, by separation, by combination, 
by student request, by individual conviction in short, by that some- 
what unpredictable forward movement which we designate as hu- 
man progress. 

History of art appeared as a new item on the list as early as 

1892, though only carried on by nonresident lecturers. Those who 
have full recollection of Carey Thomas and her delight and enthu- 
siasm in the riches of art may know that this subject did not 
languish under her administration nor did her kindred object of in- 
terest, archaeology. The two went forward together as the Depart- 
ment of Art and Archaeology. In 1913, so President Thomas re- 
counted later, Georgiana Goddard King came to her and said that 
she would like to leave the English Department and organize a full 
and complete Department of Art, which she felt herself capable of 
doing. Carey Thomas agreed with her at once, with fulfillment, 
under G. G. King's vigorous personality and wide erudition, far 
beyond the greatest expectations. Later in the same year President 
Thomas invited for an interview concerning appointment the very 
young Dr. Carpenter with a recent degree from Columbia. 

"The separate Department of Classical Archaeology was cre- 
ated in sixty split seconds on September sgth, 1913," Rhys Car- 
penter says. "I saw Miss Thomas making up her mind and doing it 
at that exact minute." Scarcely any other college or even large uni- 
versity had such a department at that time. 

The original combination of history, economics and political 
science over which Woodrow Wilson presided separated at once 
after his leaving in 1888, although economics and politics were 
taught practically together until the advent of E. H. Keasby in 

1893. Not until 1950 was political science made a separate depart- 



ment. Meanwhile, the graduate Department of Social Economy was 
organized through financial opportunity and through the idea of 
President Thomas that such would be the best memorial to Carola 
Woerishoffer. Through the students' asking for a major in sociology 
there arose, from a combining of courses and the addition of a new 
one, anthropology, the Graduate and Undergraduate Department 
of Sociology and Anthropology. 

Bryn Mawr's course in psychology, taught in the second year 
of the College, was one of the earliest in the country. Under its 
auspices courses in education began to be given; there was in 1896 
a Department of History of Education and Pedagogy later Educa- 
tion and Psychology. Sometimes they have been named together in 
the Calendar, sometimes separately, but there has always been an 
alliance between them, with academic appointments made jointly. 

The Department of Geology began with the appointment of 
Florence Bascom in 1895, the first woman to have a Ph.D. from 
Johns Hopkins University and so forcible a personality that she not 
only established the position of women's work in that science, but 
went forward to building up the importance of geology itself, then 
a new subject of research with a world of opportunity for explora- 
tion. It had been plain that this growing subject ought to be in- 
cluded in the Bryn Mawr curriculum, and Dr. Rhoads, whose interest 
in the development of science teaching had been so great, had al- 
ready laid some plans for the introduction of geology courses. Carey 
Thomas's enthusiasm was somewhat less than his, yet she carried out 
his intentions with one of the best appointments she had ever made. 

The work of Florence Bascom was, however, assigned, by ap- 
parent necessity, to the cluttered space among the store closets on 
the fourth floor of Dalton. Her new course attracted so much at- 
tention that it shortly became a major, but the President, still un- 
convinced, and without much consultation with anyone, trans- 
formed it into an elective once more. Upon this, Florence Bascom 
promptly resigned, but both were persuaded by the Directors to re- 
consider, and geology grew to be one of the great departments,, 
carrying forward the special work of research on the geological 
structure of the Pennsylvania and Delaware Piedmont, begun by 
Miss Bascom and continued by her successors. Through her means 
the Rand Collection of minerals, one of Bryn Mawr's great treas- 


ures, was presented to the College, although it, too, before being 
given its deserved setting in the new Park Hall, was crowded into 
the fourth-floor cupboards of Dalton and, so those teaching below 
declared, threatened to break through the beams of the floor. Flor- 
ence Bascom, journeying up and down on horseback, mapping the 
eastern Pennsylvania region, was a figure to be long remembered 
by neighbors and by scientific history. 

It has already been told how the Music Department, through 
the desire of the students, the first gift by an undergraduate and the 
determined ambition of the Alumnae, came about in 1921 and 
brought so many events in its wake. It is still headed by Horace 

The pressure of the war made, in the 1940% a clear case 
for the introduction of Russian. Classes in it were held first by a 
nonresident instructor in 1943. Then followed an interim of dif- 
ficulty in finding someone to come for the next year. One of the 
English instructors, Bettina Linn, of stout heart and enterprise, sup- 
plemented some earlier work of her own with a summer at Harvard 
and carried on the Russian classes until some more formal arrange- 
ment could be made, and until she herself was summoned for serv- 
ice in Washington. Russian is now a settled department, carried on 
by joint appointment with Haverford under the Plan of Coopera- 

In 1940 began the move which, while it did not lead to new 
departments, made great extension in the scope of study and teach- 
ing. In response to a request to the Carnegie Corporation and a 
report of a plan for coordinated teaching of the sciences, a grant 
of $150,000 was given to support this new departure. This widening 
of teaching plans has been mentioned earlier in connection with 
graduate work, but has been of equal benefit and equally enlarg- 
ing in that of the undergraduate courses. The possibilities of cross- 
ing the boundaries between science and science, in particular the 
combinations possible among the four subjects of chemistry, biology, 
physics and geology, stretch into almost endless variety and possi- 
bility. Some of these possibilities have been organized into settled 
courses like biochemistry, biophysics and geochemistry; some remain 
as fields of research only, with the opportunities always wide and 
open. In addition there has been set up in the science departments 


what is being called the Fifth Year, which is provision for a student 
in any department to return for work, not necessarily for a degree, 
but individual and of her own choosing as to combination of sci- 


At almost the same time, since they began in 1943, and much 
through the requests of students and the initiative of professors,, 
there have been organized among the liberal arts subjects the inter- 
departmental courses which, also, offer a wider reach of thought 
and knowledge. They are, for example, Aspects of Eighteenth Cen- 
tury Life and Thought, participated in by professors from the 
departments of History, Economics and English, and the Theory 
and Practice of Democracy, carried out by the departments of Po- 
litical Science, Economics and Philosophy. 

A matter of which thorough note should be taken is that,, 
among all these courses and departments, there is scarcely one 
which has not had, at one time or another, some scholar of rare 
distinction teaching in it, often of world importance. It is not pos- 
sible to review them all here, but certain principal ones can be 
mentioned. History has had Woodrow Wilson, to be followed soon 
after by Charles McLean Andrews. Mathematics has had three im- 
mensely important women, Charlotte Angus Scott of the first Fac- 
ulty, the refugee scholar Emmy Noether and the equally prominent 
Anna Pell Wheeler. Political Science had Franklin Giddings, who 
followed Wilson, who had already achieved a high reputation when 
he moved on to Columbia, where he carried it higher, never there 
forgetting his devotion to James Rhoads. Paul Shorey, the very 
young man in Greek when the College opened, won wide distinc- 
tion as the years passed, which he always shared with Bryn Mawr, 
coming back for lectures again and again even after he was an old 
man, always voicing his affection for that place where his career 
as a scholar had begun. Latin has had Herbert Weir Smythe, Tenney 
Frank and, later, Lily Taylor, newly retired, still in the high 
and active phase of her truly great and everywhere recognized 
work as a Classical scholar. Edmund Wilson and Thomas Hunt 
Morgan are very great names in biology, also David H. Tennant,. 
the second of the two having received a Nobel Prize. Archaeology 
has had Rhys Carpenter and Mary Swindler. 

In English were Carey Thomas herself, Chauncey Tinker, W. 


Allan Neilson who became President of Smith, Lucy Martin Don- 
nelly, warm and sympathetic and inspiring as few teachers ever can 
be; Carleton Brown of broadly known erudition, Samuel Chew 
whose approach to scholarship and teaching has, besides profundity, 
a grace and charm unmatched by any other's. Chemistry had Drs. 
Keiser and Kohler. It is still told at Harvard, to whom this small 
College was obliged to give up Elmer Kohler, that he was long 
prone, at Faculty meetings, to tell his colleagues carefully just how 
things were done at Bryn Mawr. Mackenzie and Huff, able pupils of 
the great Rowland at Johns Hopkins, carried forward the Depart- 
ment of Physics in his own brilliant tradition to its firm establish- 
ing as basis for the large things that have been accomplished there 

The work of Eunice Morgan Schenck in the Graduate School 
has been described. More subtle and less easily recorded is what 
she accomplished in the field of interrelations in French and Amer- 
ican culture, of the enlarging of mutual respect and mutual un- 
derstanding between the scholars of these two countries. French 
Philology has had Grace Frank. And the departments of Psychology 
and of Education have had Katharine McBride. 

Out of those who have taught at this small College, those who 
have been a part of her comparatively short history, there have been 
others of nearly equal accomplishment; there have been, as there 
must be everywhere, those who have done their work with no very 
wide recognition except for unfading memories in the minds of 
their students. The acquisition of such a Faculty has been some- 
thing for which Bryn Mawr has hoped, toward which she has strug- 
gled in the midst of narrow means and often of adverse circum- 
stances, never losing the uncompromising belief that only the high- 
est things go to make real scholarship. As is very evident, it is not 
possible to speak individually of those who are in the midst of their 
work here and now, in full appreciation and appraisal. The per- 
spective of time and the opinion of the world has already found 
some of them, is in process of finding others. 

But it is possible to speak of them together, as that united 
working body in which one can see where the great strength of the 
College lies. The Faculty's constant development of academic plans, 
of ideas and intellectual purposes, has been neither accidental nor 


casual nor greatly dependent on a few forward-looking minds. It is 
something over which all have thought, have toiled, have debated 
together. A Faculty meeting here is that of a working group of in- 
telligent and active minds, where every person knows the mettle of 
every other, knows what each one advocates or hesitates to accept, 
knows what contribution of knowledge and experience each one 
can offer. The flowers of eloquence, the disquisitions on trivial mat- 
ters, have long since gone by the board. One who sits and listens 
can witness, not merely the process of deliberation, or the birth 
and development of pertinent ideas, but the actual working and 
forward progress of American education itself. 

Chapter XVII 


"The place is like a graveyard with Them gone," Joe Graham, 
the night watchman of long service once said to Marion Park. To 
him, the student body, with whom he had odd and casual meetings 
in the depths of the night, was elusive, unpredictable and often 
troublesome with outrageous requests, but was always deeply re- 
garded. It was indeed true that the College was nothing without 
them, that they were the direct basis and subject of most of the im- 
portant debates in the Faculty, of the measures of the Administra- 
tion and, more indirectly, of the deliberations of the Directors. Not 
only their presence, as the reason for the existence of the College, 
was the dominant factor in the whole academic scheme; but their 
quality, their attitude, their limitations and their capacities were all 
matters to be definitely and constantly reckoned with. At the end of 
the war only two of the established Faculty did not return. A very 
few more left a little later because of connections made during their 
term of Government or military service. But for those who had 
stayed through the war, as well as for those who had leave of ab- 
sence, the opportunities to change to something larger, more lucra- 
tive and with more apparent future were endless. When discussing 
the reason why so nearly the whole number had returned, there was 
the recurrent item in their final analysis of what had brought them 
back. "It was the kind of student we taught here." 

It has been surprising how certain qualities have remained con- 
stant through year after year, through college generation after gen- 


eration, In spite of the unending change in individuals. Teachers in 
a college grow used, in time, to that constant moving onward, the 
unending flow of class after class, entering, maturing in scholarship, 
finding themselves, discovering the wide reaches of learning, inevi- 
tably going on to be swallowed up in the waiting world outside, 
with their places just as inevitably taken by others as the whole 
process of academic growth begins again. For them the four years of 
college are an isolated and unique period in their lives, years all 
too short for the vast amount which must go Into them, with every 
minute crowded with experience, every hour valuable for some- 
thing which cannot be found elsewhere. For them Time's winged 
chariot is always hurrying near, close at the heels of their lives. 
There is always that sense of movement, of haste, of catching the 
minute before it goes beyond reach. The staff of the College must 
learn to take all that as a composite, must learn to make plans, 
not for those individuals hastening past, but with a general concept 
of the student, eager, responsive, receptive of mind and with who 
knows what future possibilities latent within, waiting to be aroused. 

There are superficial changes, perhaps more in outer manner 
than in any other aspect, which come as the whole spirit of the 
time changes, more noticeable, one learns to observe, in a period 
following a war. There comes over them then a more assertive in- 
dependence, an assumed diminishing of seriousness, an intensified 
stress on what, so far as their experience goes, they consider to be 
reality. Those entering in the year 1885 accepted the challenge of 
this opportunity for women's education with much sober earnest- 
ness, and pledged themselves, one with another, to make the most 
of it, to prove themselves and Bryn Mawr before the world. For 
those who have come later, with the opportunity no longer a matter 
of privilege or doubt, there is still the same high intelligence, the 
intellectual curiosity and honest willingness to work for intellec- 
tual ends. But these qualities now are oftentimes disguised under 
an air of nonchalance, so that the owner may not take herself, or be 
thought to be taking herself, too seriously. 

To select those first candidates, Bryn Mawr set up examina- 
tions, "the most difficult that we could make/' as Carey Thomas 
said, with the added provision that she was to read every one her- 
self before the student was admitted, this during a time when other 


colleges, especially other women's colleges, relied heavily and some- 
times entirely upon school certificates. The list of those selected was 
an excellent one; the College took them as a pattern and formed 
its first curriculum in accordance with their capacity, formed its 
taste upon them, it might be said, just as those of a certain slant of 
mind and a desire for higher learning began to form a taste for 
Bryn Mawr. No matter how the method of selection has since 
changed, it has always been possible for Bryn Mawr to lay a finger 
upon the kind of student upon which its own special system thrives, 
just as the student of congenial mind and enterprise has found her 
way to the doors of Bryn Mawr. 

As years passed and it became more in order for the College to 
integrate its method with the whole field of education, rather than 
to stand further upon individual experiment, it was taken to be 
wiser to use the College Board Entrance Examinations. Even though 
the actual examinations seemed less difficult, the selection was 
just as meticulous. And finally, with the growth and study of the 
whole examining system, Bryn Mawr found that the Aptitude and 
Achievement Tests, taken in reference to the whole school record, 
made a briefer, better and more easily arrived-at conclusion pos- 
sible. Although some entering classes prove, in the aggregate, bet- 
ter than others, depending upon the amount of choice which the 
year affords, yet altogether there have been no low periods, no 
stretches of time when a succession of classes falls by any definite 
degree below the desired quality. 

As this study has unfolded, it has become evident how often the 
students' own enterprise and initiative have entered into the various 
situations, how strongly they have characterized the actual nature of 
forward progress. Brief recapitulation can sum up their part in 
shaping the very first courses, their making of Self-Government a 
real and working system, their early raising of funds, their rallying 
to the needs of World War I, and carrying on, for instance, the 
Bryn Mawr farm to supply the College with needed stocks for the 

"Fewer than twenty of us picked, prepared and canned three 
thousand ears of corn and ten bushels of string beans, all in one 
hot day," certain Alumnae still recount modestly. These were fruits 
of the field grown by their own hands, picked, processed and put up 


in cans all in a temporary set-up outdoors, manned (and it seems 
justifiable to use the word here) purely by amateurs. It was under- 
graduate initiative and largely undergraduate effort which launched 
and completed the project for a new gymnasium; it was their press- 
ing enthusiasm over the inauguration of the Music Department 
which made it clear to the Alumnae that the experiment must be 
made permanent. It was as an undergraduate that Carola Woeris- 
hoffer framed the will which gave Bryn Mawr the Department of 
Social Economy. They recognized the critical state of their Self- 
Government and accomplished their own changes. 

As has been said, they organized more vigorously for World 
War II than their mothers had for World War I, for women's op- 
portunity in the second war was so much greater. They prepared 
themselves intensively for immediate usefulness, and the moment 
after graduation they trooped away, practically in a body, to fill the 
crying needs of the new multi-alphabetical Government organiza- 

Beyond all this it is a matter for separate study to see what 
these young persons do purely and entirely on their own account, 
in the give-and-take among themselves and the activities which are 
of their own creating and their own ordering. The College's sched- 
ule demands of them, roughly, a forty-hour week of academic lec- 
tures and study, not including gymnasium sessions, some extra 
laboratory hours and, when necessary, extra courses in languages. 
They are at Bryn Mawr to learn, to work, to win a degree, a pur- 
pose which they take in different gradations of carefree ease, real 
or assumed, or similar gradations of anxious seriousness. What they 
manage to get into those extra hours which are presumably their 
own, the teeming interests and occupations, the building up or car- 
rying out of traditions, the activities and responsibilities, makes 
food for deep thought and sometimes incredulous wonder. Three of 
the firmest and most justly cherished traditions, the Big and Little 
May Days and Lantern Night are so completely characteristic of 
this particular student body that, even though the first of them 
seems to have slipped into definitely past history, a study of the 
College cannot pass any of them by. 

From the very beginning of the College's history there had been 
a project for a Students' Building, to be undertaken and completed 


by their efforts and dedicated to their own extracurricular activities 
with no outside factors of direction or participation. The first effort 
to gather a really substantial sum for this purpose was in 1900, 
when a group of students met at the house of Evangeline Walker 
Andrews, then a young Alumna and young bride established on 
Faculty Row, and still in close touch with the undergraduates. She 
has told how, after an afternoon of discussion which produced no 
good suggestion, she watched them walk away up the green slope 
opposite, where the spring was coming, and there came to her sud- 
denly and quite complete the idea of an Elizabethan May Day, 
a country festival with dances and plays, with shepherds and shoe- 
makers, and a procession to accompany the oxen that brought in 
the great central Maypole. The plan, when proposed, was received 
with delight, was adopted and set in motion at once, with a scant 
.six weeks left for preparation. All the students were to participate, 
and they all took a pledge not to cut their classes or allow then- 
work to suffer. The Alumnae offered assistance and took over the 
costuming; dancers were drilled, oxen were found, and the curiosity 
of a wide public was whetted as to just what it was that the erudite 
Bryn Mawr was preparing to offer. 

It was erudition in an entrancing form, as was proved when 
the final result was set before the waiting audience. The whole stu- 
dent body, three hundred then, walked in the procession, marshals 
with white and yellow tabards, a rose-wreathed Maypole drawn by 
the deliberate oxen, shepherdesses with their lambs, musicians and 
players, Robin Hood and Maid Marian on horseback, Queen Eliza- 
beth carried in a chair on the shoulders of her subjects. All was ac- 
complished with extraordinary completeness and perfection; even 
the programs, designed by Violet Oakley, were works of art. The 
costumes were a joy with their grace and harmony of color. In de- 
signing them, especially for the men's parts, the utmost discretion 
had been used, for it is to be remembered that in 1900 Queen 
Victoria still reigned. An eyewitness still insists that Robin Hood 
wore skirts, but it seems that they were very short ones, assisted 
by leather leggings. Yet discretion was nowhere too obtrusive or 
frustrating, and the refreshing comment by one Philadelphia re- 
porter, "The girls were as leggy as young colts," caught the real 
spirit of vigor and lightheartedness in the dancing and acting. 


At the end of the pageant, when the whole College joined hands 
and swung in a great circle, winding in and in toward the center, 
there was a quick breath of realization, among those who watched, 
as to just how much such unity of spirit and enthusiasm could do. 
Many people still remember it as the most memorable instant of 
the whole great affair. 

The person who was, perhaps, the happiest of anyone present 
on that day was Carey Thomas. Rufus Jones has said of her that 
she was a true child of the Renaissance. And here, before her, as 
the creation of her own college, was Renaissance England brought 
back in convincing reality and beauty. Her students had seen the 
affinity between the Gothic buildings, the stretches of greensward 
and the older day when learning and gaiety and pageantry all came 
together in a natural meeting of congenial spirits. She and Evange- 
line Andrews were to have long and varying association; they were 
to have some firm differences of opinion, but there remained al- 
ways a tender spot in Carey Thomas's heart for this brilliant 
Alumna and that gift out of her creative brain which she had given 
to Bryn Mawr. 

It was planned to repeat the festival every four years so that 
each student generation should be able to take part. But in 1904, 
when the Library was in process of building, President Thomas was 
not willing to approve a performance which would have a back- 
ground of scaffolding on die buildings and debris upon the grass. 
It went on again, however, from 1906 forward, with never any real 
deviation from the true reproduction of an old and otherwise van- 
ished time. The performance grew larger and larger, the attending 
crowds more extensive. 

"I do hope they have a really reliable man to take the money/* 
an old lady said nervously as she stood in the long line outside 
Rockefeller Arch waiting to enter. She did not know that the ticket 
taker was no less than Sandy Hurst, he whose wise and powerful 
hand guarded the whole financial network within the College. This 
was a moment in which everyone was willing to bear a part. 

The 1918 performance was postponed because of the war, but 
given in 1920. At the 1928 presentation, audiences observing the 
remarkable acting of the heroine in The Woman in the Moon 
looked at their programs and saw the name Katharine Hepburn for 


the first time. Historically speaking, the worst of the Depression 
fell between two May Day occasions, and the festival was given suc- 
cessfully in 1932 and 1936. But in 1940 there was no heart for it 
with the country visibly at the brink of another war. And in 1948, 
when there was discussion over presenting it again, too small a pro- 
portion of students voted for it to ensure a success in which all 
would have to bear a part. Not even the idea of Its revival has been 
raised since, but it has been a fine memory. In the last fifty turbu- 
lent years the English Renaissance has receded into the past more 
rapidly and further than the three centuries before had carried it. 

Little May Day came into being in 1904 when the larger festi- 
val was postponed. It has remained in its own right and its own 
spirit, changing some of its customs now and again and showing it- 
self always as a completely Indigenous product of the minds from 
which its procedure springs. Various elements have entered into it 
and passed away, yet the mood and feeling do not change. To be- 
gin with, as Carey Thomas declared later, from the moment that 
she saw the architect's drawing for Rockefeller Hall's entrance arch 
and tower, she had conceived the wish that here American students 
should greet the sun on May Day with the old Latin hymn which 
had been sung from Magdalen Tower at Oxford since ancient days. 
She brought home, in her voluminous baggage, at the end of the 
next summer, an appropriate crown for the May Queen, which she 
presented under the seniors' Maypole with her own hands. 

The Latin hymn Is still sung; and, as the College comes out to 
dance round the five Maypoles on Merlon Green, the music is still 
that which came in with the first Big May Day: "To the Maypole 
let us on, The time is swift and will be gone." With current tastes 
and circumstances, other details have appeared and vanished. Sen- 
iors had an earlier custom of rolling hoops when the Orals had been 
safely passed; hoops appear now, first in that dance of the whole 
class with their hoops over their shoulders, circling the inside of 
Goodhart, before the whole company settles down to hear read 
aloud the honors and awards of the year in the undergradu- 
ate school. There is hoop rolling later on Senior Row and then fol- 
lows the passing on of hoops from members of the senior class to 
friends. The final act of the morning is the distribution of May 
baskets at the doors of professors' offices. This last one means more, 


perhaps, than anyone knows. For the Faculty, the academic year Is 
near its end; efforts have been great and the strongest and most 
seasoned of spirits may grow a little jaded. There can and does 
arise in a conscientious teacher's heart the harsh and insistent ques- 
tion, "Did I really reach them?" To open the door on May baskets 
can be the answer. 

Lantern Night began with the undergraduates even more com- 
pletely than did the May Day festival, for it was inaugurated as 
practically the first of the Bryn Mawr traditions. The Class of 1889 
had many responsibilities; all traditions had to begin with them; 
they decided on the style and manner of the gowns, when they were 
to be worn, what were to be the College colors. They chose the lan- 
tern as the symbol of Bryn Mawr's learning, the light which was 
passed from class to class. Those early and uncomplicated days 
showed a happy combination of seriousness and youthful freedom 
from care, on behalf of the students exploring a new way, on be- 
half of the very young Faculty in "the first term of appointment." 
It was not considered a social engagement for a professor of biology 
to go out with his students across the face of Nature and pick up, 
where they could, the live materials for the laboratory. They were 
not, indeed, required to catch rats and rabbits, but there were other 
small flora and fauna which were important items in the scientific 

It was young Dr. Hopkins who pointed out, with some disre- 
spect, that, although there was a great deal of talk about lanterns 
and their symbolism, there was really only a lone and single lantern 
actually in evidence at Bryn Mawr, and that was the one carried by 
the Lantern Man who met trains after dark and escorted girls to 
the College. The Hopkins jokes on the subject inspired the song, 
"The only lantern in Bryn Mawr," written by Emily Balch and 
Alice Gould, and aroused the mettle of the whole Class of 1889. 
Lanterns there should be, and they would be presented yearly to the 
freshmen to guide them, symbolically, through the mazes of learn- 
ing. The custom of presenting a sophomore play to the freshmen 
had already been established and, at the end of the performance, 
the lanterns were handed out to the new class. Harriet Randolph, 
so long the mainstay of the biology laboratory as demonstrator, 
maintained, for years after, that there were really two lanterns 


at the beginning. One of them, the real one of history, she claimed, 
was hers, which was used when Dr. Edmund Wilson with his 
students ranged the Vaux Woods in the dark in pursuit of earth- 
worms. The lanterns for the first years, however, were in form like 
those carried by railroad brakemen, and suggested the Lantern 
Man rather than the mysteries of science. 

Lanterns are too picturesque to appear only indoors, how- 
ever, and the custom of outdoor presentation came quickly, with 
the freshmen standing in the dark in an expectant half-circle on the 
green before Denbigh, and the sophomores carrying the swinging 
lights in procession and emerging from the dark cavern of Pem- 
broke Arch. It was the Class of 1909 who saw at once the new set- 
ting possible after the Library was finished and who first presented 
their lanterns in the Cloisters. The lines of the two classes have be- 
come longer and longer, the timing and harmony of voices more 
complicated, with upper classmen beating time and helping with the 
training. The stately Greek song Pallas Athene, Thea, which was 
the class song of 1893, has never been superseded. The answering 
song by the freshmen has had various versions; it always rises a lit- 
tle hesitantly at first, but swells to fine unison as they receive their 
lanterns and their procession begins to move. If time and weather 
have provided a full moon appearing above the Library towers to 
look down upon the moving lights below, the scene can hardly be 
surpassed. There is a custom now for each sophomore to attach her 
name to her lantern, and the recipient invites her to tea later, with 
always a link of connection between the two thereafter. "She was 
my lantern girl" can lead to more than mere acquaintance as fur- 
ther time goes by. 

Athletics play a good part In the lives of numbers of students, 
with a certain amount of exercise required, and with field hockey 
as being perhaps the College's most serious public sport. There 
is also basketball in the appropriate seasons, some lacrosse, a 
great deal of excellent tennis and a good amount of just vigorous 
walking. The keeping or using of automobiles is forbidden, but 
there are actually other ways of getting about, and students used 
only to city living make discovery of new pleasures in exploring 
die singularly pleasant neighboring countryside. Many estate owners 
were willing to have the College girls cut across their woods and 



fields. It is possible to keep away from the motor-dominated high- 
ways, for there are still enough small roads and open spaces, enough 
patches of woodland threaded by twisting streams, where leaves 
crackle underfoot in the autumn and where there are a thousand 
budding shades of green and sheets of blue violets in the spring. 

The vast enthusiasm for competitive sports, once very evident, 
spent itself as it was bound to do, and there was a time later when 
the idea of required sports came to be considered as an anomaly 
and would be better conducted on a voluntary basis. Archery ar- 
rived, flourished and languished again in successive waves. Bas- 
ketball goes on indoors in the winter with a number of games with 
outside teams, something of which President Thomas once approved 
very little. Water polo began at once to make use of the pool of 
the enlarged gymnasium, when the little red-brick edifice was re- 
placed. One recollects now that interest in the dance began through 
its having part in the gymnasium program; but it has rapidly grown 
into a serious enthusiasm in its own right, although it has never got 
into the category of being a part of the academic curriculum. 

Dramatics were at first thought of by certain higher powers as 
merely another interruption in the academic year, but so natural 
and necessary was their place that they slipped in, grew, became a 
large and extremely useful element in the College's life, and finally, 
under the urgent requests of the students, emerged into the aca- 
demic program with the classes in play writing. 

The plays presented by the students have altered with time 
again and again, as was to be expected. The character and con- 
tinuance of the Freshman Show, a musical extravaganza, has been 
the longest and the least altered; one might say it has been a quite 
irrepressible breaking forth of talent, energy, and impulse in a 
newly entered group, with their varying tastes and gifts, finding 
themselves in the novel surroundings of this College which has so 
lately received them. Once it was decreed that the audience for this 
performance must be strictly feminine; now men are admitted 
freely, and an official dance follows. This new dispensation is not 
because the character of the play has changed much; it is only that 
the attitude concerning girls in men's costume has become more 

The Sophomore Play and the Junior-Senior Supper Play were 



long the two great and serious efforts of the year; they grew larger 
and larger in their ambition, moved from Goldsmith and Sheridan 
to Shakespeare, with beautiful and memorable result. It is not pos- 
sible to pass without mentioning the wholehearted services of Sam- 
uel Arthur King, employed by the College as Nonresident Lecturer 
on Speech and devoted volunteer in the coaching and perfecting of 
the class plays, and the May Day performances with their stout 
old English drama. He was able to find and make use of the wealth 
of latent talent which came steadily under his hands. There is always 
a certain power which untried naturalness and direct, un jaded en- 
thusiasm can contribute to college dramatics, which among profes- 
sionals can be blunted by overtraining and manifold repetitions of 
the same part. With the proper play, and with the truly remark- 
able gifts which keep discovering themselves in any sizable group of 
young people, college dramatics can offer some really great mo- 

When the class plays gave way to more general undertakings, 
when there were the Dramatic Club and the Players' Club, then 
Varsity Dramatics and Bryn Mawr College Theatre, and particu- 
larly after combinations were made for acting with the Haverford 
Cap and Bells and Drama Club, the scope of the plays became ever 
broader. That King Lear was attempted is almost unbelievable, and 
that it was a magnificent success under the coaching of Frederic 
Thon, Professor of Play Writing, is equally undeniable. There was 
for a time, although it is in abeyance now, a realization that pag- 
eantry has a notable place and opportunity in the setting and with 
the dramatic material which are present at most colleges, particu- 
larly at Bryn Mawr. Plays of the Coventry Cycle have been given on 
Merion Green; some of the early miracle plays which were designed 
for presentation on church steps were performed in the Cloisters of 
the Library, always with dignity, earnestness and beauty. There have 
been interludes, which pass, when the vogue has been less success- 
fully for current or near current Broadway plays, tempting be- 
cause of their record of popularity. It would seem, however, that a 
play for young amateurs, to make for real achievement, needs some 
firm and seasoned literary quality to compensate for inexperience 
in acting. 

Play-writing courses have been given by distinguished teachers, 



not offered every year, but when demand and evidence of talent are 
sufficient. The results are tried out in the Mrs. Otis Skinner Dra- 
matic Workshop. This is the small playhouse set up and equipped 
as a memorial to a great friend of the College, a director of Big 
May Day and mother of Cornelia Otis Skinner, of the Class of 1922, 
whose dramatic talent has carried her so far in a career of distinc- 
tion in the theater. The technique of producing has been included 
in the drama courses also, with its result of enriching the perform- 
ances on the stage of Goodhart and of being often the introduction 
to a career elsewhere. 

Concerning dramatic matters, one must look on the other side 
of the footlights also and consider the Bryn Mawr audience, to 
whom lecturers, musicians and actors have been grateful for their 
quick response, their honesty of enthusiasm, their discerning ap- 
preciation of the fine points of what is put before them. They have 
the opportunity to meet the very best that current times can offer, 
and upon it their taste is founded. 

"I am going to talk to you of Shakespeare's villains," said 
George Lyman Kittredge, beginning one of his famous critical lec- 
tures. "I trust you will find it a congenial subject." 

Congenial they found it indeed, as was witnessed by their 
absorbed attention, their motionless silence, their indrawn breaths 
as he made his tragic points. It is one of the fine scenes of Good- 
hart to remember: Kittredge at the end, tall, rosy-cheeked, white- 
bearded and smiling, striding away up the long aisle with the thun- 
der of applause following him even after he had passed out of sight 
beyond the swinging doors. 

Although the students have a successful orchestra, it is through 
their singing that the most important of their musical occasions come 
about. The succession of Gilbert and Sullivan operas, delightful to 
recollect since lightheartedness and wit seem to make a specially 
good vehicle for student gifts, has come to an end. They have been 
replaced by the great choruses and oratorios, given with men's col- 
leges, which offer a larger challenge and which have brought some 
extraordinarily fine performances. And to hear, on the last night 
before the Christmas vacation, the chorus of girls' voices, singing 
carols as they go with their lanterns from hall to hall through the 
dark and the cold is something never to be forgotten. 


In 1914 appeared Volume I, Number i, of the College News, a 
project set on foot with no official initiative but through the stu- 
dents' own efforts. Constance Applebee was earnest in early encour- 
agement and advice, and by request was long a consulting member 
of the Board of Editors. But it was truly their own enterprise, going 
successfully forward, sometimes with very unusual editorship, always 
with the surprising quality of being so fully and effortlessly a reflec- 
tion of the student body itself. It carries out all the routine duties 
of a college paper, with news, editorials, criticisms, jokes, letters 
from readers; but beyond that it actually is the student body. For 
any new members of the teaching staff, be they at the beginning of 
their careers or established in their experience, the best advice as to 
how to learn the most about the Bryn Mawr student is, "Read the 
College News." There is no posing, no artificiality of attitude; 
there is complete and often startling frankness. In it certain en- 
thusiasms and ideas appear suddenly, have a brief reign and disap- 
pear, but basically it reflects that same stanch and persistent quality 
of mind and spirit which has been present in the College through 
its whole history. It is an organ, a vehicle, a power in the academic 
community, but it is also a self-portrait. 

The College literary magazine, which every college must have, 
has had no such even-tenored course, not even a persisting name. 
There have been the Lantern, the Philistine, the Tipyn o' Bob (this 
cryptic name being Welsh and said to mean "a bit of everybody") 
and the Title, now Counterpoint It is the rather natural tendency 
for such college magazines to follow to the extreme the fashion and 
experiment of their immediate time, indeed, to get so deeply in- 
volved with such experiment that the editors are presently puzzled 
as to how to extricate themselves, while there descends upon them 
a torrent of scarcely deserved criticism. Another group then takes 
hold of the enterprise, often reissuing it under another name. The 
Lantern had the longest continuous life, possibly because experi- 
ment did not flourish in quite so bold a form in its more conserva- 
tive day. Yet these Bryn Mawr magazines saw the beginnings of Im- 
agist poetry and published the first work of Hilda Doolittle and 
Marianne Moore, to their honor. Hortense Flexner King and Jo- 
sephine Young Case also opened their careers as poets at Bryn 
Mawr. The Title and Counterpoint have published some excellent 


work; it will be interesting to see whose future and achieved repu- 
tation has had its beginning here. 

It would be impossible to list all the varied activities which go 
under the designation of extracurricular; every college has its own 
version. One wonders again and again over what these students can 
accomplish. They collect and administer large sums of money; they 
support and carry on, mostly with their own personnel, a summer 
camp for city children; they offer social service of a high quality to 
various philanthropic agencies. Through all these activities they ac- 
quire a knowledge of how to meet and carry responsibility, how 
to develop resourcefulness, how to utilize all their own abilities, how 
to make use of the ability of those with whom they work. If they 
are puzzled or feel inadequate, even in these extracurricular under- 
takings, they can always seek advice; the door of the President's 
office is always open; consultation here and with the Dean always 
leads them toward finding the solution in themselves, by analyzing 
the real source of a difficulty, the implications of a situation, by 
appraising fully the available means to a desired end. Although 
they are not deliberately seeking it, they are steadily adding to the 
scope of their future usefulness, to their ability to take an efficient, 
constructive part in community, in family life. It is a large element 
in their final education which they are here seeking out, but the pur- 
suit of it is mapped completely by themselves and by their own en- 

In addition to all this, many of them carry on a far busier so- 
cial life outside the College than was ever conceived as possible in 
an earlier day. There are an appointed number of dances every 
year at the College, usually after the plays. Weekends away average 
usually about three a semester per student. If they are clear- 
headed in managing their affairs and their time, most of them can 
take all this in their stride, and do. If, however, it becomes a fact 
that the real balance of their attention is elsewhere than on their 
academic undertakings, then the results are unfortunate. The at- 
taining of a degree is something that cannot be carried out as a 
secondary pursuit. 

It would be pleasant to state that Bryn Mawr students are wise 
in the protection of their health. But they are not. Untried con- 
stitutions appear invulnerable to their owners; hours for sleep are 



an Inexhaustible bank account upon which they draw lavishly. Prac- 
tically every freshman tries the fine and exciting experiment of 
working all night, just because there is no one to interfere.^ But 
the Health Department, under the Dean's office, keeps as diligent 
a watch over them as James Rhoads would have desired, he having 
always had such careful concern over his charges' collective health. 
The students have learned to make sensible and even willing use of 
the Infirmary, and the Infirmary has learned to disregard routine 
protests concerning almost due papers and coming examinations 
and inexorable professors, and proceeds firmly to practical meas- 

The fairly new addition of psychiatric consultation was ac- 
cepted slowly at first but has now won its way into its proper and 
useful place. The College was early in making this a part of its 
health program and has organized a service of remarkable excel- 
lence. The students, by their own public opinion, have built up con- 
fidence in it and understanding; they realize very clearly that to be 
discouraged, ill adjusted, bewildered and unhappy is a matter for 
seeking sensible and expert advice, and is not a confession of men- 
tal instability. Most of them come, on an average, from secure and 
happy households; but tragedy can touch even family strongholds 
and can wring the hearts of those who know the circumstances to see 
such young people sometimes faced with such truly desperate prob- 
lems. Foreign students who had been through fantastic horrors dur- 
ing the war have here found again and again supporting reassur- 
ance as they went about learning that life could be, after all, an 
ordinary and normal thing. 

It is, perhaps, the highest tribute that can be paid to the Bryn 
Mawr students to say that they are, and have always been, com- 
pletely and generously democratic. That real spirit of general and 
cordial goodwill which characterized the early College has never 
broken down, even though so many years have passed, so many 
conditions changed. The background of money meant little to that 
original, Quaker-influenced group; it means scarcely more than that 
now. A few girls, visiting their friends at home, may look wistfully 
upon greater luxury or security, but in the College itself they are 
all on common ground. Bryn Mawr has always been too small for 
social clubs or secret societies. Racial intolerance has never reared 


its head; there is, on the contrary, a special cordiality toward mem- 
bers of other nations and other races. The students feel, moreover, a 
responsibility for one another, the older for the younger, the hap- 
pier for the less happy. 

"We think she isn't making the right sort of friends for her kind 
of person/* a pair of them will tell the Dean, "but we are working 
on her." They are likely to seek out the shy ones rather than to pass 
them by. When someone drops into the habit of idling away the 
time, of which there is really so little; or when another works her- 
self into the mood of panic wherein she toils day and night for fear 
she has not done enough, other students manage to extend advice 
out of their own experience, and go to higher authority for assist- 
ance if they do not succeed. They have complete respect for in- 
dividuality, even for eccentricities; still, no one is ever suffered to 
entertain the smallest habit or mannerism without its being frankly 
mentioned by her friends. 

In their zeal they sometimes go too far with certain ideas and 
criticisms, but there is among them a vigorous honesty of spirit that 
makes it certain that they cannot deceive themselves with error for 
very long. Because, to carry on their academic work, they learn 
early to analyze, appraise and judge the worth and reliability of 
what is put before them, they come to grind their sense of criticism 
to a very sharp edge, even uncomfortably keen for ordinary pur- 
poses. It is not turned against their colleagues or their preceptors so 
much as it is turned against themselves, diminishing, for a time, 
their confidence in their own beliefs, their own abilities, their own 
destinies. It is part of their development that they learn at last to 
take self-criticism less severely and give themselves the benefit of a 
more optimistic doubt. Taking them all in all, while they are unex- 
pected in a hundred individual ways, they are still to be counted 
upon as friendly, intelligent, original, vigorous of mind, ever on 
the move, seeking their own in the world of learning and the world 
of living, having so much in common that they can be remembered 
always with respect, wonder and affection as Them. 

Chapter XVIII 


For those of the Alumnae whose years of reunion are beginning to 
roll up into appreciable figures, there is one memory which has 
remained with them all, the triumphant, marching rhythm of that 
fine old hymn "Ancient of Days, Who sitteth throned, in glory/' 
It represents memories of the opening chapel of the academic year, 
the marching in of the Baccalaureate procession, sometimes the 
memorial services it stands indeed for all the formal religious oc- 
casions of the College. And so fixed a recollection is it, and re- 
garded with so much affection by so many, that it is a witness, of 
which we are scarcely conscious, that religious matters in the Col- 
lege have not been lightly regarded or brushed aside, as general 
opinion so often tends to rise up and declare. 

It is probably quite just to say that the question of the reli- 
gious life of this College of any college the problem of how to 
recognize and respect it, of how to nourish and foster it, is the sub- 
ject of more earnest thought and private consultation, of less 
public discussion and pronouncement, than any other aspect of 
that College's life. There can be very few educational institutions in 
which it is a matter of indifference to those ultimately responsible 
for the whole welfare of the organization in their charge; there can 
also be few in which it is not a source of puzzling, sometimes 
frustrating and always important necessity for wise and careful 
judgment. The span of Bryn Mawr's history has almost exactly 
covered what has been the most difficult and bewildering period in 
this aspect of American education, a period in which, at the begin- 
ning, definite and often very strict denominationalism was in order 


everywhere. It has been, moreover, a time during which the pen- 
dulum of opinion and practice has swung to the farthest point of 
its arc, and complete departure from any form of sectarianism has 
been generally attempted in the public schools and in the privately 
supported institutions of education which are not strictly on the 
direct foundation of some particular religious body. 

In the early years of American education, the founding of new 
colleges in the light and principles, even when not under the di- 
rect ownership, of various denominations was the obvious proce- 
dure, for practically always the first conception of the plan lay with 
public-minded members of some religious group. Often it used to 
reflect, as its main purpose, the rearing of ministers for a special 
church. The Puritan founders of Harvard, as everyone remembers, 
declared that it was their wish "to advance Learning and perpet- 
uate it for Posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate Ministry to the 
churches when our present ministers lie in the dust/' 

Similarly, members of the Church of England forwarded the 
establishing of William and Mary; Presbyterians were responsible 
for the beginnings of Princeton; Dutch Reformed, for Rutgers, just 
as, much later, Haverford was founded by the Orthodox Quakers 
and Swarthmore by the Hicksites. And for years after these were 
established, in the sustaining of their religious life, the denomina- 
tional medium was the most direct one to use and for long was 
thought the most effective. But except for those institutions which 
by choice remained extremely small and by the end of the eight- 
eenth century few colleges remained small except from choice it 
began to be plain that new conditions were asking for a new ap- 

The college population of the country grew rapidly and im- 
mensely as the nineteenth century reached its last third, while, in 
the materialism which had come with American prosperity, there 
had been no such increase in Church membership. Student ap- 
plicants no longer chose the college which represented their or 
their parents' denomination, or came with the acknowledged un- 
derstanding that they would conform to the usage and regulations 
known to prevail there. As time went by and there grew to be an 
emphasis on specialization, even to a moderate degree, the choice 
of a college by a student came to depend upon the presence of 


certain departments, of certain leading scholars. Better transporta- 
tion brought students from a wider and wider range of the country's 
broad area. A very different pattern began to be evident in the stu- 
dent body, with an increasingly audible insistence on freedom of 
thought, on a student's own responsibility for his beliefs and ac- 
tions. Required attendance on religious instruction, on divine serv- 
ice within a special denomination was more and more resisted, 
became in the end, in a measure, self-defeating. 

"I worshiped the Lord in alphabetical order for four years/' 
one graduate of that period used to say bitterly, "and I lost all 
desire for any such thing for the rest of my life." By the end of the 
nineteenth century it was plain enough that denominationalism, no 
matter how earnestly and sincerely pursued as a policy, was not the 
answer. But would nondenominationalisrn be made to serve the 
same end? At the end of the first fifty years of this century that 
answer is still being sought, with earnestness, with hope and devo- 
tion. It has long been so sought at Bryn Mawr. 

The briefest study of Joseph Taylor's will shows how great was 
his desire that the true spirit and, as far as possible, the usages of 
his beloved Society of Friends should prevail at his College. Yet he 
forbore to lay this wish as an irrevocable injunction upon his Trus- 
tees. And as time went on and as denominationalism, as circum- 
stances changed, showed itself to be a restrictive principle in edu- 
cation, the tolerance of their very Quakerism wrought against the 
definite carrying out of his desires by his Trustees. Quakers believe 
in complete freedom to follow the Inner Light; they believe also 
that an indirect influence, a proof by example, can do more than 
direct or articulate presentation of a definite doctrine. From the 
very first they refused to prescribe compulsory attendance on reli- 
gious meetings within the College or outside it, a great innovation 
in the i88o's and one which immediately called forth the easily ad- 
vanced accusation of godless indifference. On Sundays "the students 
are expected to attend divine worship in the neighborhood," the 
Trustees declared, and they posted in every hall of residence a 
cordial invitation from the Haverford Meeting to all who might 
desire to come. But there was no record kept of who went, or where. 
There was no appointed chaplain or resident minister, another 
fact which shocked the neighborhood. But the Society of Friends 


had no professional ministers and did not think in terms of them. 
Ministry for them is part of daily life and not, for anyone, a des- 
ignated, whole-time pursuit. 

In the hands of the first President, the carrying out of the 
Founder's wishes offered few difficulties, for James Rhoads was as 
deeply devoted a Quaker as Joseph Taylor, and a thoroughly wise 
and liberal one. The setting up of the Department of Philosophy, so 
closely related in the minds of the Trustees with the religious 
teaching, had a number of delays and changes of personnel, but in 
the President's lectures on Christian ethics, springing from the deep 
roots of Quaker belief rather than offered as the presentation of 
Quaker doctrine, there was always full satisfaction and steady in- 
terest on the part of the students. 

When Dr. Rhoads retired, the Trustees, those serious men so 
resolute in doing the right, gave almost as much time to discussing 
the future policy of the College in relation to religious questions as 
they did to settling upon the next President. It has been spoken of 
earlier, that meeting in which they decided that the spirit of what 
Joseph Taylor wished, in giving widely extended education to the 
growing generations of young women, could not be reconciled with 
the letter of his suggestions on religious procedure, and that they 
would preserve the spirit where the letter could not be carried out. 
They knew that they could not hope to find just another such as 
James Rhoads, the friend and, religiously speaking, almost the 
counterpart of Joseph Taylor himself. He, more clearly than any 
of the others, had already seen that the College's rapidly broaden- 
ing responsibility to women's education could be unjustly ham- 
pered in the end by too great and literal stress upon sectarianism. 
That conclusion, however, did not imply in any way the abandon- 
ing of spiritual responsibility. Even though Dr. Rhoads knew how 
Carey Thomas went even beyond him in the desire to extend the 
scope of the College, knowing too that her Quakerism was of no 
such kind as his, he was still urgent that she should be his successor. 

Having determined on the more liberal interpretation of Jo- 
seph Taylor's will, and lest they should be neglecting their deep 
promise of fulfilling their duty, the Trustees formed, as part of 
their organization, a Committee on the Religious Life of the Col- 
lege, which has continued ever since. Its chairman was for long 


Rufus Jones, one of the greatest religious leaders of his time. They 
did not attempt, nor hope for, the achieving of large and visible 
results. But the results are there, as review of the record shows, and 
their study of how to perform a difficult and intricate task has 
steadily continued. There has never been any swerving from the 
original idea of complete freedom of thought and action in that 
inner world of individual and personal belief. They may not always 
have been sure how to go forward; but they have also never lost 
sight of the fact that they must know where to stay their hands. 

"Bryn Mawr has too little religious instruction/' was often 
enough the complaint of outsiders, but, hearing it, the Trustees' 
Committee went on its way. They knew fully it was their business 
to know that religion cannot be taught as another subject is, 
never can be defined, codified, and confined in a textbook; it must 
always preserve its own mysteries, always show the line beyond 
which mankind is told that it may not go. A knowledge of the his- 
tory of religion, a greater study and greater understanding of the 
Scriptures can, however, be of the largest help. One might venture 
to say that Thomas Paine, inveighing against the inconsistencies 
and the contradictions that the Bible appears to set forth, would 
have had no grounds, and very probably no desire, for attacking 
religious orthodoxy as he did in The Age of Reason if he had 
known what biblical scholars now know of the overlapping versions, 
the different points of view and sets of narratives which were woven 
together to make the Bible a continuous whole. Enlightenment in 
that quarter has set many young people's doubts and questioning 
at rest, has quickened their interest to seek further for themselves 
as to what the old prophets and the Christian doctrine were giving 
to their world. History of religion, comparison of religions and the 
understanding of how man has continually striven for further 
knowledge of truth, these can always be inspiring and clarifying, 
as is the study of the development of Christian belief. 

But each person's true belief, no matter how fully it is drawn 
from outer knowledge, is, in the end, wrought within himself, by 
himself in the sight and mercy of God. Therefore nothing can be 
more private, more individual, more defensively cherished when 
once achieved than that which each single mind and spirit has 
formed, is forming, or would like to form within itself. Especially is 


this the case among young people, just arriving at a maturity of 
understanding of who they are and what they believe. They are, 
indeed, in great need of companionable guidance, but not of didac- 
tic instruction. In no way can they bear to be impelled, labored 
with or forced into any mold. But inner life and thought is not 
complete without some means of outward practice, some gathering 
with others who believe and wish to compare their views, some 
acknowledgment of God's greatness, some work to be done in His 
name. How opportunity for this is to be offered without forcing the 
issue that has been the question. 

The College has done much, though not in full evidence to 
many eyes. The Committee on Religious Life has never for a mo- 
ment been blind to its responsibilities, but what the perfect way is 
for carrying out their purpose has never, at Bryn Mawr or perhaps 
elsewhere, been fully settled. "We could have done more," said 
one of the committee after years of service, but even in that knowl- 
edge he could not say what should have been done. 

After James Rhoads was gone and it is to be remembered 
that even after retirement he kept up his lectures in Christian 
ethics and his interest in the students' spiritual welfare President 
Thomas and the Trustees saw to it that his work in that special 
field should continue so far as another pair of hands could carry it 
on. George Barton, a Quaker, a distinguished scholar in biblical 
and Assyrian archaeology, a friendly and kindly man, gave courses 
in the study of the Scriptures, in biblical antiquities and, for grad- 
uates, seminaries in ancient languages. It was part of his work 
to share with Dr. Hermann Collitz the courses in comparative 
philology, and between them they spanned an extraordinary list 
of ancient tongues: Hebrew, Sanskrit, Assyrian, Celtic, Slavonic, 
Gaelic, Old Irish, old High Germanl 

Although Dr. Barton's department was called Semitic Lan- 
guages and Biblical Literature, philology was not in any way the 
final end for which he had been appointed. He took part in the 
daily chapel services, offering a prayer before President Thomas's 
brief talks, but he did not make chapel addresses on his own ac- 
count. His elective course in the History of Christian Doctrine was 
thorough, wise, tolerant and immensely difficult, but it did make 
clear, to a most helpful extent, what had been the gropings of 



men's minds through man-made dark places in the years since 
Christianity had come to lighten the world. There was visible par- 
allel, never too insistently pressed, between those older gropings 
and the similar progress of the individual seeking truth for herself 
in her own time. But academic procedure was still cast in its old 
form; there were lectures alone, occasional quizzes, no papers, no 
class discussion, no scheduled conferences between professor and 
student when single opinions and single problems might have come 
to light. Not even to the Trustees' Committee did it occur that a 
greater gain could have come through a less formal method, al- 
though their puzzled wish to have such teaching reach further 
than it did was an augury of how great was the need of finding 
another way in instruction. 

President Rhoads had carried on, through his whole adminis- 
tration, weekly meetings on Wednesday evenings conducted much, 
but not entirely, on the Quaker pattern, voluntarily attended, fol- 
lowed by his warm handshake and his word of personal interest as 
the students went out. The Haverford Meeting had once wished to 
set up a subsidiary branch at the College, with the meeting carried 
on in official connection with their own. But James Rhoads was 
resolute against this, insisting that the College must have its own 
sort of meetings, when they were conducted within its own walls. 
It is interesting to note that in 1954 some concerned Friends had 
made a similar offer to the students' Chapel Committee in whose 
hands the settling of such plans now lies. After very careful con- 
sideration of the matter they came to the same decision as had 
James Rhoads. 

It was a dream of Rufus Jones that one of the older meeting 
houses, left vacant when groups were consolidated, should be 
moved to the campus. A group of Alumnae once offered to raise the 
money to build an Episcopal chapel for the use of students belong- 
ing to that church. But in both cases the Trustees and Directors 
reaffirmed their policy that no special sect beyond any other should 
be represented, and that the aim should still be for nondenomina- 
tionalism. After Dr. Rhoads's death the Wednesday evening meet- 
ings were continued on an even broader program, with the College 
selecting and supplying a leader for one week, the students choosing 
one, also from outside, or using one of their own number, for the 


next. On Sunday evenings there were gatherings in the gymnasium, 
these entirely under the auspices of the students' religious organi- 
zation, led most frequently by one of them, but at times with other 
speakers. Hannah Whitall Smith spoke at one of the early ones, and 
for many it was here that they first heard Rufus Jones, young then 
and fiery, preaching on vision and inspiration and the invincible 
power of man's spirit. There were hymn singing and spaces of si- 
lence, and voluntary comment by members of the audience, much 
of it stimulating, much of it naiVe, all of it sincere. 

Members of the Class of 1891 founded the Christian Union, 
coming back from a religious conference at Northfield and wishing 
to establish something on the model of the English college organi- 
zations of which they had been hearing there. Its constitution, after 
some early changes, provided that any member of the student 
body could belong to it without any reservations made, and with 
all eligible to take part in its meetings and outside undertakings. 
There were Bible classes, led by the elder students; there were oc- 
casional week-end conferences arranged and speakers brought to 
stay for several days and to conduct classes and discussions; repre- 
sentatives were sent to the student conferences at Northfield and 
Silver Bay. There were special projects in social service and phi- 
lanthropy, giving weekly aid at settlement houses in Philadelphia, 
services at the Bryn Mawr Hospital, the beginnings of the summer 
camp for underprivileged children. 

In 1904 the Christian Union fell into difficulties. It had been 
in existence a good many years; its definite ideas and purposes were 
perhaps not sufficiently defined; interest in the Bible classes had 
diminished; attendance at the Wednesday and Sunday meetings 
was not what it had been. A certain group within the College came 
finally to the conclusion that the old organization had outlived its 
usefulness, and therefore they set themselves to the founding of 
another. The reason of the lapse in vigor, they declared, was the 
fact that membership was upon too broad and vague a basis, and 
that because anyone could belong no one really valued the privi- 
lege or assumed the responsibility which went with membership. 
The new organization, named by its supporters the League for the 
Service of Christ, was to rest upon an evangelical basis of member- 
ship and upon that alone. It was set up in the most sincere endeavor 



to fill the needs of Bryn Mawr better than they were being filled; 
Its purpose was followed by wholehearted devotion and full inten- 
tion for the final good. 

The unfortunate and unexpected result of the proposed 
change was a violent rift in the student body. Those who had come 
to pay little attention to the old association now came to its de- 
fense with renewed vigor, even those who, to tell the truth, were 
a little hazy as to just what the evangelical basis of membership 
was. That it excluded certain denominations and people of certain 
beliefs was enough; the principle of general inclusion was, they 
felt, not to be lost. There was argument and finally very strong 
feeling on both sides, with efforts at compromise leading to nothing. 
A few who attempted to be neutral tried to believe that the good 
purposes of both, the broader nonsectarianism of the Christian 
Union, the individual dedication of the League, could be brought 
together, but had not the skill or understanding for bringing it 
about. Feeling goes so deep over religious matters that there is 
little chance for half-measures. Those who supported the League felt 
it necessary to resign from the Christian Union, and the usefulness 
of both was greatly limited because the College was too small for 
the supporting of two societies. 

It was President Thomas's idea that if the question were to be 
fully settled it must be through the means of those most deeply in- 
volved. The struggle between the two, for struggle it grew to be, 
lasted through six years and embraced practically the whole under- 
graduate body. The Class of 1910, giving their Freshman Play in 
the form of a burlesque on Alice in Wonderland, showed the Lion 
and the Unicorn, symbolic of the League and the Union, fighting 
for the soul of Alice, who was the College. They could not present 
it as anything but a drawn battle. 

But after six years, when those of earlier and more intense 
feeling had graduated and the younger members of the student 
body saw the long-lasting effects of the differences, greater and 
greater efforts were made to find a solution. A great deal of good 
counsel came from Constance Applebee, who had so steadily man- 
aged to stand close to the students and had great understanding 
of their problems. From her President Thomas kept asking for 
bulletins of progress, but resolutely withheld her hand from inter- 


fering. Leila Houghteling, 1911, and certain members of the Class 
of 1910, in their senior year, set themselves earnestly to bring the 
schism to an end. The President of Self-Government, Hilda Smith, 
later to be of such service to the Summer School for Women 
Workers; the President of the League, Elsie Deems; and of the 
Christian Union, Ruth Babcock, all friends and two of them room- 
mates, conferred, persuaded, and proposed new measures in steady 
search for an answer. 

There came at last a dramatic evening in Taylor, with the 
League meeting in one of the classrooms downstairs and the Chris- 
tian Union in the chapel above, while both sides discussed the 
proposals on which the two bodies might unite. The Christian 
Union came to its conclusion quickly; the League labored some- 
what longer, for more was being asked of it. But finally the message 
of consent came upstairs; both could agree to disband and join in a 
new organization. A mass meeting was held at once; the Christian 
Association was formed with a new constitution and with a both 
broader and deeper purpose. The whole of the meeting and it 
comprised practically every student in the College marched out 
together singing "Onward Christian Soldiers." They crossed the 
campus in the dark and stood outside the President's house, still 
singing, "We are not divided, All one body we/' 

She came out on the porch to listen and to say to them, "I 
have waited for this for years." She rejoiced as much as they in 
the shared satisfaction of that triumphant moment. 

A close and deeply thinking observer of religious societies in 
colleges has said that student approach to such questions is, by its 
very nature, somewhat uneven, that it shows waves of opinion and 
changing attitudes as years go forward. "Sometimes the religious 
impulses expend themselves entirely in social work; sometimes the 
thinking stresses the intellectual, sometimes the ritualistic, some- 
times falls into intolerance. . . . The element of division is native 
in young people's thinking," he has said, "for young people feel 
deeply, take sides quickly, are slow to realize that their responsi- 
bility is to the future as well as to their own immediate impulse." 
jAs one looks back in long perspective upon this difference which 
' so divided the College, it appears again that to use the denomina- 
* tional as a means is what seems to be the simplest and most inten- 


sive way, but that something inherent in the students' thought, 
which came to them through the very spirit in which the College 
was founded, took the major part of them back to look for some- 
thing larger and more permanent. 

With Dr. Barton's retirement and, after an interval, the taking 
over of his work by Henry Joel Cadbury, a modified program of 
Bible studies was set up with the bringing in of the very great 
addition of discussion and personal exchange of views, both in 
the classes and in conferences. Dr. Cadbury's belief and tolerance, 
combined with his very human understanding of the students and 
their needs, brought him far closer to them than had been possible 
through the older lecture system. With his move to Harvard it be- 
came necessary, while looking for exactly the right arrangement 
under which to go forward, to give up certain of the Bible courses 
and change some of the others. Although Bryn Mawr never be- 
lieved that study of biblical and religious subjects should be made 
compulsory, it has been considered firmly that it was compulsory 
upon the College to supply the opportunities. 

Agnes Lake Michels, officially connected with the Latin Depart- 
ment, daughter of one of the greatest of biblical scholars, has of- 
fered varying courses in different years, under the general classifica- 
tion of History of Religion. As Faculty adviser to the students' 
Chapel Committee, she has reached into a field where the opportu- 
nity for service is very great. The students need to ask questions of 
some older person, someone to whom they have no hesitation in 
going for consultation. The advice of the President, of the Assistant 
to the President and of the Dean, has also been readily and construc- 
tively available to them, particularly in the field of bringing to- 
gether the problems and the resources from which such problems 
can be met and solved. The President has said, in fact, that 
one of the very large functions of a college administration is to 
"bring together," to survey the needs and the desires, and bind 
them into one practical purpose. 

The Literary History of the Bible, a course given for some 
years by Samuel Chew of the English Department, came through 
the students' asking for something further on biblical critical study. 
It enlarged and clarified the matter of Bible reading as few other 


processes could. There was no attempt to dwell upon doctrine, or 
need for it, when the magnificent poetry and prose are rendered 
clear to tell their own story, preach their own word. They stand 
plain as they never have been before, when once the sources 
have been integrated and the various strands of narrative separated 
and identified, with nothing lost of truth and power. But even 
with the introduction of this course, the number given that con- 
cerned religion was only two a year, an insufficient arrangement, 
still awaiting the right time and opportunity for going further. 

That time came with the arrival of Dr. Erich Frank, as has been 
earlier related, to give the Flexner Lectures in 1943 and to return 
later to become a part of the College. Now the field of true religious 
interest, long prepared for by slow development and spontaneous 
increase of attention from the students, came to show what response 
there could be, once the rare and right leadership brought it into 
life. Erich Frank, with an honest humbleness of mind and an 
enormous sweep of knowledge and understanding, brought together 
the whole need and the whole necessity. It was said of him that he 
made intellectuals see what there was in religion for them, an an- 
swer to the fact that those who lay too much stress upon pure 
intellectualism can often find themselves in barren spiritual 
ground. Yet he did far more than that while he was here and left 
much that was to last after he was gone. 

It was his suggestion that the center of religious teaching 
should return to the Department of Philosophy, where it had 
been at the opening of the College, continuing, none the less, 
those courses now established which had proved of such great use. 
The Alumnae had already taken up the plan of establishing a 
memorial chair for Rufus Jones on his retirement after fifty years 
of service to the College, The idea had originated with Mary Pierce, 
and, under her leadership, was already in process of gathering 
financial support This plan had Erich Frank's earnest approval 
and advice and has materialized in the Rufus Jones Chair of Philos- 
ophy and Religion as a fitting memorial to him who had been so 
notable a teacher and leader in that field of thought and learning. 
Diligent search was to be made for an incumbent who could supply 
leadership and inspiration and who should be open to full discus- 



sion and consultation such as is needed in that department in 
greater measure than in any other. The first appointment has been 
made in Geddes MacGregor of the University of Edinburgh. 

Good, although too little recognized, as has been the work al- 
ready done in the whole history of dealing with this important 
matter of the religious life of the students, what is really important 
is the thought of what lies in the future. There has been a steady 
approach to the answer to a question concerning which the Trus- 
tees and Administration have so long been pondering; namely, 
how, in the face of steadily changing conditions, to carry out the 
great responsibility laid upon them by Joseph Taylor. It is well 
indeed that they should feel that "we could have done more." In 
such a matter there is always more to be done. 

The present organization of the students' own activities shows 
again the inevitable and natural changes which keep taking place 
in a constantly renewing group of people. The old Christian Asso- 
ciation has delegated its principal service, that of arranging for the 
religious meetings for the students, to the Chapel Committee, while 
the main organization has gone on now to be an association actively 
dealing with social service and the philanthropic enterprises which 
spring from busy and generous spirits. The Christian Association, 
like its predecessor, went through a period of low ebb, revived, 
changed its name but not, in great measure, the form of its organi- 
zation, and is at present called the League as a more appropriate 
title for its more secular service. 

The development of the Chapel Committee has been one of the 
most interesting evolutions which the College has seen, all its phases 
arising naturally from the need and the material for carrying it out. 
So direct and important was the nature of the work in organizing 
the Sunday evening services, the conferences and other meetings, 
that the committee has become, in effect, a separate entity. Its 
numbers have grown and grown as the importance of the responsi- 
bility and its possible variety become more in evidence. Not only 
do they meet for the business of arranging for speakers for the 
Sunday evening services (for which a generous appropriation from 
the Trustees gives support) and to organize the week-end conferences 
which have had such success. They have added to their agenda 
the discussion among themselves of any topics of particular interest 


in the religious thought of the day, any problems which seem to be 
of special concern to the students at the moment. Sometimes there 
are outside speakers or consultants; sometimes the discussion is in 
the hands of the students alone. There has been graphic demonstra- 
tion, with explanatory comment, of certain important religious 
ceremonials, the celebration of the Mass, and the celebration of 
a Seder at the time of the Passover. The meetings are open to any 
who like to attend, and such attendance often produces a packed 
Common Room and a whirlwind of discussion. 

Membership in the Chapel Committee, in designated numbers,, 
amounts to about thirty, but any student may attend the meet- 
ings and may vote. The Chairman is elected by campus-wide voting 
with formal ballots, just as is the President of Self-Government. 
Part of the committee is made up by two representatives elected' 
in each hall, with the graduate students also having their repre- 
sentative. So important has this group become that it is now begin- 
ning to be thought of as the College's official religious organization.. 
Of late years the Directors' Committee on Religious Life meets an- 
nually with the Chapel Committee for an exchange of views. They 
have had to learn, on both sides, how to exchange them, but they 
do so now with greater and greater freedom. 

Everywhere in the country there is evidence of the movement 
for a return to a more vivid and complete religious life, so that the 
rise in interest in the College, very evident at present, can be 
called a reflection of what is going on in the world outside. But at 
Bryn Mawr it can be seen to be more than that; it can be recognized 
as a long seeking for the ultimately right way and the gradual dis- 
covery of what seems to be the better method. It has been the de- 
termined continuance of broad tolerance with the spirit of the 
students left unmolested to work together, aided and sympathized 
with, but advised only where advice is needed and requested. 

There have been two stumbling blocks, minor ones, but prob- 
lems just the same in this matter of religion in education. Teachers 
in public schools are prohibited, and in private institutions tend to 
be held back by general public opinion, from embodying any reli- 
gious observance, even mention of religious matters, in their teach- 
ing. Thus teachers have learned to be more and more silent, lest 
they offend the feelings of any person of a different way of thinking,, 


where this deepest of subjects is concerned. And students have 
grown, not unnaturally, to take it for granted that among their 
preceptors there is little interest in that direction. Yet in institu- 
tions of higher learning, where the subject of talk is general and 
free, both sides can find quick and unexpected response when open- 
ings arise for religious discussion. There are also some teachers 
who, from experience witnessed or heard of, fear that a formal in- 
clusion of religion may become too large an official factor in the life 
of higher education, and might put limitation upon the scope of 
the teaching, on the breadth of view in scholarly fields. Yet just 
the opposite can and should be the truth. What they fear is an 
old and limited system which has now slipped into the past, which 
has served its purpose in a different time and under different 
circumstances but which now gives place to a greater and wider 

Anyone who has witnessed, for instance, the beautiful Bryn 
Mawr Christmas service, completely nonsectarian in form, enriched 
by the wisdom and devoutness of some clergyman of the neighbor- 
hood, made glorious by the music which is its inheritance from all 
the ages of man's devotion to God, who feels himself one with a 
silent and reverent audience, cannot fail to know that there is, in 
all the shifting pattern of individual belief, some deeply true and 
common way. Among education's other tasks, there is here one 
more duty, to share in seeking out this common way and further- 
ing it. 

Chapter XIX 


In this seventieth year of the College's history, it is of real moment 
to see what questions have had their gradual solution, or approach 
to solution, during these generations of Trustees and Directors, ad- 
ministrative officers, Faculty and students that have made up 
Bryn Mawr*s past. One problem is even yet in the forefront of 
educational thought: the matter of academic freedom is still offer- 
ing its own complications. At Bryn Mawr it has brought no unto- 
ward incidents. The Faculty, as a body, sent a message of protest, a 
year or two ago, to a great university which, so it seemed to them, 
was doing its professors less than justice. There has been no neces- 
sity for such protest here. The principle of academic freedom had 
its real testing in 1916, when the Plan of Government was evolved; 
with that as a bulwark, academic life has gone forward on its own, 
self-regulating way. 

During Carey Thomas's time it was still the generally accepted 
right of a college president to inquire minutely into the individual 
attitudes and ideas, into the way of teaching and planning of any- 
one accepted for appointment. But with her successors it has not 
been so; it has been established now that there is to be no insistence 
on any shade of political or religious opinion; it is the quality of 
teaching and of scholarship only into which there is any warrant 
to inquire. It may seem that this could have its own dangers, but the 
blighting effect of too great regulation would be even more destruc- 
tive. And this right to personal opinion has not been abused. Given 
these inherent qualities the capacity for honest pursuit of the 
highest learning, the ability to teach, stimulate and understand stu- 




dents of alert intelligence, there is little danger for anything less 
than direct and honest thinking. 

The immense complexity of the present time has made this 
question a very vital one. The fact cannot be put aside that this 
country, that the whole free world is being subjected to a barrage 
of subversive propaganda, aimed, most especially, at the young. 
One of the best approaches to the minds of thinking young persons, 
so the enemies of democracy seem to have concluded, is through 
those who teach them. Yet nearly everywhere these young people 
have had their strong defense both within themselves and in the 
clarity and incorruptibility of thought among those who preside 
over their education. The intricacies of investigations and of in- 
quiries have brought out the salient fact that students and teachers 
as a body have been singularly resistant to subversive suggestion or 
open persuasion. At Bryn Mawr it has been proved, as elsewhere, 
that the essential quality of a teaching staff has greater power 
to lead and to protect than has any special set of official require- 
ments or compulsory test of ideas. 

The students have insisted on their right to hear every side of 
the difficult questions of this most difficult time, and to form their 
own views. In the 1930*5 there was, among college students every- 
where, a certain amount of lighthearted radicalism. It was easy 
enough then to entertain political opinions which skirted the edge 
of danger, if you were in no way obliged to shape your life to them. 
Yet what seemed very innocent indiscretions of that youthful day 
have, in the case of some prominent men lately, loomed very large 
in their record. A small shadow can lengthen ominously by the 
light of later dangers. Young people may be swayed by the enthu- 
siasms of the moment, by the dread of being trapped by reactionary 
thinking, but, given time, they usually settle to true and sensible 
opinion; it is their honest due that they should be trusted to do so. 

The undergraduate students have recently proposed and put 
through a really drastic step a step forward in the conduct of 
academic affairs. While Bryn Mawr had practiced Self-Government 
before other colleges, it had, rather inexplicably, failed to add an 
honor system for the preparation of papers and the holding of ex- 
aminations. As has been said, President Thomas set her face inex- 


orably against it, for her own outspoken reasons. "It would lower 
the reputation of the College," she kept repeating and described, 
in chapel, her ideal examination room, with proctors walking 
constantly up and down the aisles, "raising the standard" by their 
presence. One can see now that it was not suspicion of the honesty 
of human nature that deterred her from agreeing to such a 
change, but her awareness that, with women's higher education 
so new a thing before the world, there would be questioning and 
criticism wherever there was a loophole offered for doubt whether 
this experiment represented true learning or merely the appear- 
ance and affectation of it. With a certain tacit loyalty to that first 
vigorously expressed opinion, however, Bryn Mawr refrained from 
following the example of so many other colleges which had, like 
her, adopted a Self-Government and had then gone on to an honor 
system. But by the year 1954 both Bryn Mawr and women's educa- 
tion in general could assume that their reputation was sufficiently 
established and the honor system could well come into being. It 
was drawn up by the students themselves, passed upon by the Fac- 
ulty and authorized by the Directors, to come into use in the aca- 
demic year of 1954-* 955- 

It arranged for quizzes and examinations with the professor or 
instructor present only at the beginning and end of the session to 
answer possible questions and to collect the bluebooks. It guaran- 
teed the originality of other papers, including the long reports 
which are so large a feature of the major work. The students under- 
took the whole responsibility of this new venture and ensured the 
necessary public opinion to maintain it. And nothing can be clearer 
than that personal integrity and public opinion are the only means 
for assuring complete freedom from any form of unfair assistance. It 
is difficult to trace those incorporated harpies, the clandestine com- 
panies which prey upon a student's tendency to panic or to a feeling 
of inadequacy and who send through the mail inconspicuous circu- 
lars suggesting, "Why not save your time for the subjects in which 
you are really interested and let us . . ." Much can often hang 
upon the issue of one paper; tension and apprehension can become 
very great and, along with them, temptation to use unlawful help. 
Only a real honor system can be strong enough to withstand the as- 


saults of such temptation, panic and insidious invitation. But there 
can be no shadow of a doubt that the Bryn Mawr students, having 
initiated the idea, are fully equal to upholding it. 

At the time of this writing, Katharine McBride's administra- 
tion is thirteen years old, somewhat less than half of the years which 
the College may expect of her. To all outward eyes it has moved 
smoothly, so that few can be aware of how rough the terrain has 
been at times and how intricate the problems. Part of this appear- 
ance of ease has come through her having a special gift for organiza- 
tion; but, more than that, her success has arisen through the knowl- 
edge which she has of the human side of every situation. She is 
accessible to everyone, from Dean to anxious parents and future stu- 
dents; she has apparently ample time to listen, to understand and, 
within herself, to make her appraisal and to remember it. She 
has set on foot the careful studies which are now going on concern- 
ing the future of the College, has seen to it that they are made 
primarily in terms of human factors, not merely of material needs. 
Her administration can be said to be one of brilliant enterprise, 
but it is enterprise based on thorough and completely adequate 

Bryn Mawr is soon to face some of its most difficult and puz- 
zling problems, but will face them with preparations made and nec- 
essary knowledge gathered and weighed. Educators know that, with 
the great increase in birth rate and size of families since the war, 
the whole picture of adequate instruction is about to change. The 
young children are already trooping into the primary schools, flood- 
ing the existing facilities; in a comparatively short time they will be 
at the doors of the colleges and universities. Bryn Mawr, while 
crowded at the moment, is still in a fairly good state of equilibrium. 
Her number of students, seven times that of the College with its first 
four classes complete, is still not beyond the limit of what the space 
will hold, what the Faculty can conveniently teach. 

A small college has its definite and indispensable place in the 
educational scheme, just as has the great university; the small- 
college type of teaching has its own mission and in this special 
mission Bryn Mawr has long since been affirmed. Her size is always 
comparative, however, and the question is, How can she, as she 
grows and grow she must maintain the established spirit of dem- 


ocratic friendliness among the students, of generous Individual in- 
terest from the Faculty and the Administration? How is she to adapt 
herself practically and materially to a new order? 

That policy of "splendid isolation," once pursued by an earlier 
President, has long since been swept away in the face of a wider 
knowledge of a college's greater usefulness and responsibility, both 
in the community and in the general world of education. The last 
two Presidents have taken their part on Boards and committees in 
increasing and now almost limitless number. Both Marion Park 
and Katharine McBride have been Chairmen of the College En- 
trance Examination Board; Katharine McBride is a Trustee of the 
University of Pennsylvania; Marion Park, in her retirement, is on 
the governing Boards both of Radcliffe and of Simmons Colleges* 
The Faculty have carried Bryn Mawr's name to summer schools, 
and to universities and colleges all over this country in answer to 
invitations to lecture on distinguished foundations. The Fulbright 
Awards have carried them farther still, and they have been tem- 
porary members of the teaching staff in European universities from 
Oxford and Cambridge to the University of Malta. At home they 
give generous service to the immediate community and, as the latest 
venture, have helped to set on its feet the University of the Air 
in the Delaware Valley Educational Television Corporation. AH 
this has been beyond the vision, broad as it was, of James Rhoads 
and Carey Thomas, but it was they who laid the foundations deep 
on which all coming achievement was to be built. 

In the face of constant changes in needs, there has been 
adopted a new method of meeting the constantly growing financial 
requirements. It was Caroline McCormick Slade who, in 1944, sug- 
gested the idea o a Resources Committee, a continuously working 
group of Directors and Alumnae who would watch steadily over the 
College's necessities, and the means of meeting them. Concentrated 
drives may possibly be needed again, but it is the belief that, for 
the most part, current requisites can be met by current effort and 
enthusiasm exerted by this committee. Parents are urged, where 
they can, to pay through annual gifts the whole cost of a daughter's 
education, instead of the approximate half met by the tuition fee. 
The need for bequests is brought forward and stress is laid on the 
important right of small colleges and women's colleges to be con- 


sidered as appropriate legatees as well as the old and famous uni- 
versities. The need and practical application of capital gifts is kept 
In sight, and the interest of Foundations for education is kept alive 
by informing them of where Bryn Mawr can, with advantage, lay 
out a grant for some special project. It is all part of the vast and 
complicated work which goes into keeping the whole of our educa- 
tional institutions to the full carrying out of their opportunities. 

The enlargement of the Science Building is the problem upon 
which this committee is at present concentrating its attention,^ 
need not of the future but of the demanding present. Science in it- 
self has assumed greater and greater place in the whole proportion 
of American education and the national need. Everything calls at- 
tention to the necessity of training more and more workers in the 
scientific fields. Grants and assignments are not enough; there must 
be space, there must be laboratories for special research, for the 
instruction of new students; there must be rare and expensive ma- 
terial for experiment. 

The needs of science are here most evident and most acute; 
beyond them are the requisites for other departments: more room 
for seminaries and for meetings of discussion groups, room for the 
collections of the Art and Archaeology departments, space for 
proper offices for the young instructors whom the College's re- 
sources have never adequately reached, expansion everywhere for 
a growing College in an expanding world of education. But most 
of all there is need for something beyond even the reach of the 
Resources Committee, the need for people, for students with those 
indispensable qualities which make for scholars, for teachers with 
their young promise or their accumulated treasure of erudition 
and reputation and always they must be of the best. Like all 
other educators, those at Bryn Mawr know that the task of going 
forward might look frightening if it were not so inspiring. Of a 
college one might use more fully than in any other sense, those 
words of T. S. Eliot, not farewell but 'Tare forward, wayfarer." 

In such a record as this an appointed stopping place could be 
at the close of an Administration, but there is always the fine prom- 
ise of the next one to be explored. It might be at the end of an era, 
but eras do not visibly end; they merge into something else, and one 
only knows, upon looking back, that something new began in a 


certain place and that which was past lost itself in that which was 
to come. But after the study of a sufficient number of years, of new 
things tried and proved, of mistakes made and retrieved, after see- 
ing doors open and horizons extend, there comes a time for sum- 
mary. There comes the moment for a gathering up of meanings, for 
asking again the question with which this study came into being, 
"What makes a College?" The answer is important, for upon the 
full understanding of it hangs much of the future of education. 

Is it the President? One could easily, in the first breath, say yes, 
for it is plain how great the President's task is, how much character 
and ability can stamp the individuality of an administration and its 
achievements. Bryn Mawr's history has been short; she has had four 
Presidents, all of them excellent. The first two arrived at their 
places by natural process of gravitation, for there was little opportu- 
nity, then, to look far in choosing them. They seem to have been 
specially made for their purpose. But in the case of the others, there 
was by their time wide extent in women's scholarship, and in ex- 
perience in high administrative positions. There was, therefore, an 
extended field of choice, of sifting of suggestions, and of consulta- 
tion. Such search should surely arrive at a successful end, and Bryn 
Mawr has been especially fortunate in achieving a very high degree 
of such success. 

Presidents need the support and collaboration of all those with 
whom they work, even though in many matters theirs is the single 
responsibility. They may find the task a very lonely one, the burden 
of responsibility very great. With the large matters, however, they 
need not use their unsupported authority or decide by single opin- 
ion. And Presidents retire at the age of sixty-five or seventy, and 
what is the span of one academic working life compared to the life 
expectancy of a College in whose Charter appear the words, "The 
term is perpetual"? 

Or is it the Trustees, or Directors or Governors, that self- 
perpetuating body which, in Bryn Mawr's case, has been so success- 
ful in preserving its character through so many years, and promises 
still to do so. One family, that of James Rhoads, was represented on 
that Board and in the College from the very beginning until this 
year of writing: by James E. Rhoads as friend of Joseph Taylor and 
first President; by his daughter, Anna Rhoads Ladd, member of the 


first class, a Trustee and long Secretary of the Board; and by his son, 
Charles J. Rhoads, Trustee from 1907 to 1956, and Chairman of the 
Board as successor to Rufus Jones. It is only by looking at the long 
record that one can estimate a little of what the College owes to 
Charles Rhoads's careful enterprise, his spirited kindliness and his 
unremitting endeavor. No trouble has been too great, no matter of 
consideration too small to enlist his immediate interest and action. 
For seventy years this one family put the affairs of the College be- 
fore its own as a true matter of Quaker concern. All this, the dedica- 
tion of this book makes inadequate effort to recognize. 

In the same way, but in less visible succession, duties have 
passed from one pair of willing hands to another. David Scull's long 
labor on the superintendence of the new buildings went on, with 
no remission of watchful effort, to Arthur Thomas and to Francis 
Stokes, who came near to snatching David Scull in long and 
faithful service and in the number and intricacy of the building 
problems which he mastered. The Treasurership has passed from 
able hand to able hand. Alumnae Directors have replaced one 
another always in equal spirit of sustained interest. But the Board 
could have done nothing without the whole organization upon 
whose activities they pass final judgment and for which they take 
final responsibility. They have done great things toward building the 
College, but they have not built it alone. 

Is it the Alumnae, or the Alumni, who make a college? They 
themselves would be the first to say that it was not they, that much 
of what they succeeded in doing came out of what they had received 
first from the College itself. They have accomplished extraordi- 
nary things, these Bryn Mawr Alumnae, working in behalf of their 
College, great things through intelligence and untiring interest 
and, in turn, have got much satisfaction from the unifying loyalty 
which comes from concerted toil in a field of high endeavor. The 
matter and the manner of their support have done much but have 
not done all. 

Is it then the Faculty? There again the immediate answer 
might be yes, for on their high quality of scholarship and achieve- 
ment in research, on their willingness and their generosity of teach- 
ing, on their ability to act together under a self-governing system, 
rests much of the reputation of the College before the world. Many 


of them have explored boldly in those long, lonely reaches where 
man's knowledge is still unmapped, have worked at the solving of 
problems for whose answer humanity is waiting. But scholarship is 
not all: at a college one must teach, and every real teacher knows 
that no matter what he may do in library or laboratory, true and 
living success can be in his students. 

Then it might be the students, for whose benefit all these 
other elements in the College have their being. On them depends 
the continuous and steady march of young and vigorous minds 
into the doors and out again, carrying what the College, as a whole, 
has to give to the world at large. What they carry is not entirely 
what has been directly given to them, but it has been led and 
molded by the amount and manner of the teaching. They have the 
right to feel that it is they who really have made the College, and 
it is best for all concerned that they should feel so, as they face 
their work and shoulder their intellectual responsibilities. But 
when they look back, each group in its turn, to see the College en- 
tire and unchanged and going on without them, they can no longer 
be so sure. 

The record of Bryn Mawr, as given here, is representative of 
that of other colleges, living through the same time of great 
changes, confusions and opportunities, all founded on the same re- 
sources of American generosity and American foresight for its own 
future. There have been unique elements in Bryn Mawr's special 
undertakings; she has had her own adventures and her own great 
personalities, just as all the others have had, whose individual sto- 
ries differ, inevitably, as all human undertakings do differ. But a 
study of Bryn Mawr's seventy years would indicate that what has 
made her what she was, what she is and what she promises to be, 
has been the full integration of all the factors just named, a work- 
ing harmony of every part with every other. Wise Presidents, 
Quaker procedure in deliberations and decisions, Self-Government 
by the students leading, one cannot doubt, to increased loyalty 
of Alumnae Self-Government and determination of policies by 
the Faculty, all these have been contributing causes to that in- 
tegration here achieved to so high a degree. No one element has 
been sufficient without the rest; each has had to fill the entirety of 
its share if the whole effort is to be complete. 


Yet Is there not the necessity of something more, some cement- 
ing influence which binds all these parts together, these factors 
which are all of them human, filled with every possibility of vari- 
ance, division and nonconcurrence? It is an influence of something 
not made with hands, or with books or ink or test tubes, although it 
has embodied in it the sight and smell and feel of all of these. In a 
small college certain things are more easy to see than in a larger 
one, and here it would well seem that this which is at the heart of 
everything is an unspoken loyalty, an unshakable belief in the 
power of human learning, in the power of men's minds as a force as 
great as any that exists in a universe of infinite forces. Everyone who 
takes part in carrying on a college is aware of the necessity for 
such belief, of the duty of extending it further, of delivering it, 
whole and undiminished, to those who can bear it farther still. Yet 
few people ever speak of it, since it is far too difficult to capture in 
outward words. 

There is in graduation a more severe wrench than many older 
people realize or remember. Excitement is in it, and achievement 
and anticipation of the new and different life to be carried on, at 
last, in complete independence. But there is also time for glancing 
back upon what most of these young people have had all their lives 
and will never have again. They have not wished for solicitous 
care and guidance, but what they have had, and unconsciously 
taken for granted, is the fact of being the center of complex plans, 
the constant object of interest and benefit, designed for them as 
individuals and as a common company. They cannot flatter them- 
selves that the world at large is going to meet them at the door with 
any such concern and attention, cannot believe that their achieve- 
ments will command instant respect and an opening way to full 
usefulness. It is a sober thing to give up what you have always had 
and what will never come back to you. But in balance against such 
inward misgivings there is strong reassurance. 

That senior, witnessing the Fiftieth Anniversary celebration, 
and seeing Miss Thomas, surrounded by justified adulation, speak- 
ing from Goodhart platform, said, as she wrote home to her father, 
"I knew in that minute what Bryn Mawr really was/' And in that 
moment of separation, as it comes inevitably to each student, there 
is the sudden insight into what her College really is and where its 


true strength lies. That is sufficient support for her, since that which 
makes the College makes also the College graduate. 

The last ceremony of undergraduate days is a small one and 
not much known to the general public. On the night before Com- 
mencement, after all the gay color and crowding and happy greet- 
ings of the Garden Party, after the darkness has come, the classes 
gather and the seniors sit upon the steps of Taylor to sing. Four 
years ago they received their lanterns from the class before them; the 
lanterns are here now, set in a circle of little twinkling lights below 
the steps. Tomorrow those sitting here in the dark will stand up in 
the hushed attention of a crowded Goodhart Hall to receive their 
degrees; they will be Alumnae. Now they go through the songs 
which they have sung here through the warm spring evenings, and, 
when they have done, there is a little silence and they come down 
from the steps while the juniors go up to take their places. They 
take up their lanterns, glimmering in the dark, form in line and 
walk valiantly away into their future. 



1884, Taylor, the Gymnasium; 1885, Merion, Cartref; 1887, Radnor; 1891, 
Denbigh; 1893, Dalton; 1894 (February), Pembroke West; (October) Pem- 
broke East; 1902, Denbigh burned and rebuilt; 1904, Rockefeller; 1906, 
the Library; 1908, Deanery rebuilt; 1909, the New Gymnasium; 1913, the 

1905 Infirmary opened; 1926, Wyndham purchased; 1928, Goodhart Hall 
opened; 1937, Rhoads Hall opened; 1938, Park Hall opened; 1939, Quita 
Woodward Wing of the Library opened; 1939, Mrs. Otis Skinner Memorial 
Theatre Workshop opened; 1948, the Wright School acquired and made 
into the Graduate Center; 1951, West House and the Applebee Barn 
opened; 1953, East House acquired. 

1810 Joseph Wright Taylor born. 

1877 Joseph Taylor's will drawn, founding Bryn Mawr College. 

1879 (August) Ground broken for Taylor and Merion halls, 

1880 (January i8th) Joseph Taylor died. 
1880 (May) Bryn Mawr College chartered. 

1884 (March) James E. Rhoads elected first President. M. Carey Thomas 
elected first Dean. 

1885 (September) Bryn Mawr College opened. 

1888 (June) First degrees (two) granted. 

1889 First class graduated. 

1892 (January) Students' Association for Self-Government established. 

1894 James Rhoads retired. M. Carey Thomas elected second President. 

1895 (January) James Rhoads died. 

1899 The Sargent portrait of Miss Thomas presented by the Alumnae. 

1900 The first Big May Day. 

1906 The first Directors join the Board of Trustees. 

1913 Phebe Anna Thorne Model School opened. 

1914 The College News founded. 



1915 Carola Woerishoffer Graduate Department of Social Economy 

1916 (March) Letter of the Faculty sent to the Directors asking for the 
new plan of Government. (April) Public Ledger articles published. 
(May) Plan of Government adopted. 

1920 Alumnae drive for two million dollars for Faculty salaries. 

1931 Summer School for Women Workers in Industry opened. 
Music Department opened. 

1922 President Thomas retired. Marion Edwards Park elected third Presi- 
dent. Regional Scholarships established. 

1925 The Self-Government Constitution revised. 

1928 Honors Work established. The Flexner Lectures founded. The 
Anna Howard Shaw Lectures established. 

1929 Reorganization of the Graduate School completed, and given its 
first Dean, Eunice Morgan Schenck. 

1930 Phebe Anna Thome School closed. 

1933 T^ e Deanery made over to the Alumnae. 

1935 (November) The Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration. 

(December) President Emeritus M. Carey Thomas died. 

Alumnae drive for a million dollars. 

1937 Comprehensive Examinations established. 
The Language Houses established. 

1938 Summer School for Women Workers moved to Hudson Shore, N.Y. 
1940 The Seven College Conference organized. 

The Three College Cooperation begun. 
1942 President Park retired. Katharine Elizabeth McBride elected the 

fourth President. 
1944 The Self-Government Constitution revised. 

The G.I. Bill of Rights established. 

1945-1948 Alumnae Drive for two million dollars for Faculty salaries. 
1950 The Plan of Government revised. 

1953 Phebe Anna Thorne Nursery School opened. 

1954 Honor System established. 


The interest and the wholehearted generosity of effort of many people have 
attended the gathering of the material for this account. Such a history 
as this must, of course, rest primarily upon the written record, on the 
Minutes of the Trustees' and Directors' meetings, of Faculty meetings, on 
the Reports of the Presidents. Added to this there have been available 
for this undertaking the letters of Joseph Taylor, and the official papers 
and correspondence of three Presidents, Miss Thomas, Miss Park and Miss 
McBride. Those of Dr. Rhoads, unfortunately, have not been kept, except 
for a packet of letters to Carey Thomas while she was Dean, written during 
the summers when they could not confer personally over College affairs. 
These she had cherished along with her two important documents, the 
rough draft of her letter concerning the Presidency and the early organiza- 
tion of the College and that other communication which she has labeled, 
"Letter from Gottingen refusing me my Ph.D. degree/* 

After Miss Thomas's death her papers were removed from the College, 
but came back later in such wild disorder that they would have been 
practically useless had it not been for the patient and able hand of Mary 
Lotiise Terrien, former Reference Librarian, who sorted and indexed them 
and who filed, in the same system, the correspondence left in Miss Park's 
office when she retired. A fairly detailed account could have arisen out of 
this abundant material, but it has been greatly enhanced and brought to 
life for the writer by the personal recollections of the Alumnae, and the 
first-hand accounts given by members of the Faculty, the Administration 
and the friends of the College. 

Bryn Mawr has been especially fortunate in that this personal record- 
ing of her history, this looking back in long perspective, can cover the 
whole of her seventy years. Members of the first class can tell still of the 
somewhat apprehensive delight and the high seriousness with which that 
first thirty-six faced what was for them a unique intellectual experiment. 
It would not be possible to make complete mention of all those who have 
taken direct part in the extending of this picture. But these which follow 
are the names of those who, by correspondence, but far more often in 



direct conference, have contributed to this fuller knowledge of that earlier 
Bryn Mawr: Sophia Weygandt Harris and Julia Cope Collins of the first 
class, 1889; Evangeline Walker Andrews, 1893; Pauline Goldmark and 
Elizabeth Kirkbride, 1896; Louise Congdon Francis, 1900; Louise Atherton 
Dickey, 1903; Eleanor Little Aldrich, 1905; Alice Hawkins (who has 
also labored so long over the proofs and the Index), Lelia Woodruff 
Stokes and Margaret Reeve Gary, 1907; Frances Browne, 1909; Hilda 
Worthington Smith, 1910; Helen Taft Manning, 1915; Margaret Taylor 
Macintosh, 1921; Mary Woodworth, 1924; Frances Jay, 1926; Agnes Lake 
Michels, 1930; and Dean Dorothy Nepper Marshall. In addition to these 
there are Mr. Sandy Hurst, Comptroller of the College for many years, 
and friend and financial adviser to every member of the Faculty during his 
long incumbency; Mrs. Logan MacCoy, head of the Japanese Scholarship 
Committee; and Dr. H. M. Thomas, nephew of President Thomas. The 
writer's eighteen years as member of the Faculty, from 1932 to 1950, made 
ample opportunity for being brought up to date on what had happened 
at Bryn Mawr during those later years of Miss Thomas's Administration 
and of Miss Park's in the 1 920*5. And through the chance of having a 
succession of young relatives among the undergraduates, the writer was in 
a position to catch a glimpse of the College from a point of view strikingly 
different from that of the members of the Faculty. 

The Librarians of the College, Miss Janet Agnew and her staff, have 
been personally as well as professionally willing in their assistance as has 
also been Miss Carol Biba, Bryn Mawr's Director of Public Relations. The 
Faculty members have been resourcefully cooperative and endlessly patient 
under a barrage of questioning. Four of the Trustees, Mr. Charles Rhoads, 
Mr. Thomas Raeburn White, Dr. Henry Joel Cadbury and Mr. Francis J. 
Stokes, have given time, wise comment and information otherwise unattain- 
able. President Emeritus Marion Park has read the manuscript and given 
much helpful suggestion. President Katharine McBride, with whom the 
idea of a History of Bryn Mawr originated, has done the most in thought, 
in constant and encouraging attention as the work went forward and in 
a world of constructive advice. 

Such an undertaking as this has the outward appearance of being the 
work of one pair of hands, and in its greater or lesser success must be the 
responsibility of one person. But in its long preparation it has partaken, 
very fully and happily, of the whole of Bryn Mawr. 


Official papers of the College are here designated as B.M.A. (Bryn Mawr 
College Archives) and, when referred to here, are identified by the title 
of the folder in which they are filed. 

Page 19. "That these evils may be carefully guarded against ..." 
Letters of Joseph Taylor, The Quaker Collection, Haverford 

Page 28. Influence of Thomas Chase. B.M.A. Memoir of James Rhoads. 

Page 3/. "I felt that I might, without presumption . . ." B.M.A. 
Letters of James Rhoads. 

Page 55. "I received thy cordial letter . . ." B.M.A. Letters of James 

Page 40. "I doubt whether a young college . . ." B.M.A. Letters of 
James Rhoads. 

Page 45. Speeches at the opening of Bryn Mawr College. B.M.A. The 
Inauguration of Bryn Mawr College. 

Page 48. Departure of Woodrow Wilson. B.M.A. Resignation of Wood- 
row Wilson. 

Page 55. Circular letter of Susan Walker Fitzgerald. Alumnae Records. 
Papers Concerning the Founding of Self -Government. 

Page 6x. Letter of Mary Garrett concerning an annual contribution. 
B.M.A. Dean Thomas. 

Page 62. Letter of James Carey Thomas discussing his daughter and the 
Presidency. B.M.A. Dean Thomas. 

Page 66. Discussions preceding the election of President Thomas. Trus- 
tees' Minutes. November 17, 1893. 

Page 80. "I have a little book . . ." B.M.A. Trustees: David Scull. 

Page 103. Letter of the Professors of Bryn Mawr College to the Directors. 
March 29, 1916. Directors' Minutes, March 30, 1916. 

Page 104. Public Ledger articles. B.M.A. Academic Freedom Contro- 
versy and Public Ledger Attacks. 



Page 108. President Thomas's Commencement Speech. "This greatest of 

all experiments/' College News, June, 1916. 
Page no. Faculty discussion of Plan of Government. Faculty Minutes, 

May 29, 1919. 

Page 127. Declaration on Smoking. Alumnae Bulletin. December, 1925. 
Page 130. Report of the Academic Committee of the Alumnae Association 

on the Graduate School January, 1927. B.M.A. The Graduate 


Page 151. The Alumnae Seven Year Plan. B.M.A. Seven Year Plan. 
Page 155. Difficulties between the College and the Summer School. B.M.A. 

Summer School for Women Workers: Correspondence, January, 

Page 157. Speech of Marion Park at the opening of the College year, 1933. 

Alumnae Bulletin. November, 1933. 

Page 159. Speeches at the Fiftieth Anniversary. Letter from a student. 
B.M.A. The Fiftieth Anniversary. 

Pages 770-71. Decision concerning the Summer School. B.M.A. The 
Summer School for Women Workers, 193%. 

Page 176. Statistics concerning productive scholarship. Reprint from 
Mademoiselle, January, 1953. 

Page 181. "Peril does not undermine them/' Katharine McBride, Inau- 
gural Address. Alumnae Bulletin, December, 1942. 

Page 206. Emily Balch, "Working for Peace." Alumnae Bulletin, May, 



Bryn Mawr Alumnae Quarterly, 19071920. 

Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin, 1920 

The Lantern, 1891-1944. 

The Fortnightly Philistine, 1897-1903. 

The Tipyn o* Bob, 19031916. 

The College News, 1914- 

The Title, 1944-1948. 

Counterpoint, 1948 


Addresses at the Inauguration of Bryn Mawr College. Philadelphia, 1886* 
Nicholas Murray Butler (editor), Education in the United States. Albany, 


James Bryant Conant, Education in a Divided World. Cambridge, 1949. 
- , Education and Liberty. Cambridge, 1953- 
Esther Cloudman Dunn, Pursuit of Understanding. New York, 1945. 
Timothy Dwight, Memories of Yale Life and Men, 1845-1899. New York, 

Edith Finch, Carey Thomas of Bryn Mawr. New York, 1947. 
Abraham Flexner, The American College. New York, 1908. 

- , Universities American., English, German. New York, 1930. 

- , Daniel Coit Oilman: Founder of the American Type of University. 
New York, 1946. 

Helen Thomas Flexner, A Quaker Childhood. New York, 1940. 

Erich Frank, Philosophical Understanding and Religious Truth. New York, 


The Friend, A Religious and Literary Journal. Philadelphia, 1830. 
Claude M, Fuess, The College Board: Its First Fifty Years. New York, 1950. 
Virginia Gildersleeve, Many a Good Crusade. New York, 1954. 
Daniel Coit Gilman, The Launching of a University. New York, 1906. 



Alice Payne Hackett. Wellesley, Part of the American Story. New York, 

Report of the Harvard Committee, General Education in a Free Society. 

Cambridge, 1945. 

David Hinshaw, Rufus Jones, Master Quaker. New York, 1951. 
Henry James, Charles W. Eliot, President of Harvard University. Boston, 

Rufus Jones, Haverford College: A History and an Interpretation. New 

York, 1933. 
Michi Kawai, My Lantern. Tokyo, 1939. 

- , Sliding Doors. Tokyo, 1950. 

Margaret Taylor Macintosh, Joseph Wright Taylor, Founder of Bryn 

Mawr College. Haverford, Pa., 1936. 
Samuel Eliot Morison, The Founding of Harvard College. Cambridge, 1935. 

- , Three Centuries of Harvard, 1636-1936. Cambridge, 1936. 
Bliss Perry, And Gladly Teach. Boston, 1935. 

Proceedings of a Conference on Education in the Society of Friends. 

Baltimore, 1878. 

Proceedings, etc. Philadelphia, 1880. 

Josiah Quincy, History of Harvard University. Boston, 1860. 
James E. Rhoads, A Memoir of Joseph Wright Taylor. Philadelphia, 1880. 
Isaac Sharpless, The Story of a Small College. Philadelphia, 1918. 
Hilda Worthington Smith, Women Workers at the Bryn Mawr Summer 

School. New York, n.d. 
Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, Princeton, 1746-1896* Princeton, 1946. 


Academic freedom, 97 ff., 253 f. 
Aldrich, Eleanor Little, 174 
Allinson, Anne Emery, 54, 56, 79 
Alumnae Association, 78, 143, 151, 158, 

173 f., 207, 260 
Alwyne, Horace, 137, 218 
American Association of University 

Professors, 99, 103 
Andrews, Charles McLean, 49, 219 
Andrews, Evangeline Walker, 226 
Anthropology, Department of, 189, 217 
Applebee, Constance McK., 94, 212, 

234, 246 
Ascham, 14, 18 
Archaeology, Department of Classical, 


Art, Department of History of, 216 
Athletics, 212, 230! 

Balch, Emily Greene, 53, 205 f., 229 

Barton, George, 103, 243 

Bascom, Florence, 50, 165 f., 217 

Brown, Carleton, 220 

Bryn Mawr College. See under Char- 
ter, Curriculum, Departments, Farm, 
Fellowships, First degrees, Found- 
ing of, Graduate Center, Graduate 
School, Merit law, Religious life 

Burch, Helen, 194 

Cadbury, Henry J., 205, 248 
Carnegie Corporation, 218 
Carnegie Foundation, 112 f. 
Carpenter, Rhys, 184!, 216, 219 
Cartref, 42, 85 

Case, Josephine Young, 234 
Castro, Mathilde, 86, 153 
Chadwick-Collins, Caroline Morrow, 


Chapel Committee, 248, 250 
Charter, 27, 97, 107 
Chase, Thomas, 28 f. 
Chew, Samuel C., 234 
Child Study Institute, 153, 211, 213 
Childs, George W., 53 
Christian Association, 247, 250 
Christian Union, 245 ff. 
Class of 1889, 43 f., 526 
College News, 234 
Collegiate Gothic, 59, 143 
Collitz, Hermann, 243 
Comprehensives. See Examinations 
Coordination, of liberal arts, 219; of 

sciences, 219 

Cope, Francis R., 25, 58 
Cope, Julia, 58 f. 
Cope, Walter, 25, 58 f., 76, 81, 143 
Cope and Stewardson, 58 ff. 
Cornell University, 16, 19, 40, 69 
Cox, Rachel D., 212 
Cram, Ralph Adams, 142 
Curriculum, 37 f., 41, 166 ff. 
Curriculum Committee, 125 
Cut rule, 93 

Dalton Hall, 25, 59, 60 
Deanery, 39, 42, 51!., 56, 95 
De Forest, Lockwood, 142 
Degrees, first, 52 
Denbigh Hall, 25, 47, 54, 59, 74 




Departments, first, 2151". 
Depression, influence of, 149, 157 
Dewey, John, 86 
Dickerman, Alice Carter, 137 
Directors, 79. See also Trustees. 
Dolgelly, 75, 85 
Donnelly, Lucy Martin, 220 
Doolittle, Hilda, 234 
Dramatics, 139 f., 231 

East House, 213 

Education, Department of, 84, 217 
Education Counselling Service, 87 
Eliot, Charles William, 3!, 17, 41 
Emery, Anne. See Allinson, Anne Emery 
English, Department of, 71, 101, 234 
Entrance requirements, 41 
Examinations: comprehensive or final, 

168; entrance, in, 223!.; orals, 73 ff., 


Faculty, 32, 37, 45 f., 195; academic 
freedom of, 97-108, 253, 260!; Plan 
of Government, 106, 220 

Farm, Bryn Mawr, 224 

Fellowships, 32, 37, 39, 43, 53, 88, 214 

Fenwick, Charles G., 204 

Fiesel, Eva, 191 

Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration, 159 

Fiftieth Anniversary Fund, 152, 158, 

i6 5 

Final examinations, 168 

Fitzgerald, Susan Walker, 54 ff. 

Flexner, Abraham, in 

Flexner, Bernard, 145 

Flexner, Helen Thomas, 23 f. 

Flexner, Hortense, 234 

Flexner, Mary, 145 

Flexner lectures, 145, 190 

Foreign students, 199 

Founding of Bryn Mawr College, 4, 

6 ff., 20, 27, 29, 45 
Francis, Louise Congdon, 114 
Frank, Erich, 190, 249 
Frank, Grace, 220 
Frank, Tenney, 103, 219 
Freedom of teaching, 99 ff. 
French, Department of, 169 
French House, 138 
Friends, Society of, 8, 13 ffi., 21. See 

also Quakerism 

Fugita, Taki, 200 
Fulbright Awards, 214, 257 

Garrett, John B., 26, 29 

Garrett, Mary E., 38, 60 1, 67, 74 ff., 

79> 94 ff- 

General Education Board, 115 
Geology, Department of, 217 
G.I. Bill of Rights, 197 f., 208, 214 
Giddings, Franklin, 49, 219 
Gilman, Daniel Coit, 4, 18 f., 37 
Goldmark, Josephine, 128 
Goodhart, Howard, 141, 213!. 
Goodhart, Marjorie, 141 
Goodhart Hall, 140 if., 147, 149 
Gordan, Phyllis Goodhart, 214 
Gottingen, University of, 69 
Gould, Alice, 53, 206 f., 229 
Government, Plan of, 106, nof,, 203 
Graduate Center, 208 f. 
Graduate School, 29 f., 34, 37, 39, 83, 

88, 128 ff. 
Graham, Joe, 222 
Gwinn, Mary, 31, 38, 52, 94 
Gymnasium, 30, 42, 47, 94 f., 139 

Hand, Frances Fincke, 128 

Hartshorne, Charles, 26 

Harvard, College and University, 4, 

17, 40 f., 83, 105 
Harvard Annex, 38, 40 
Haverford College, 15, 67, 74, 176 
Hepburn, Katharine, 227! 
Holbrook, Richard, 102 
Honor system, 58, 73, 254 ff. 
Honors work, 168 
Hopkins, Edward Washburn, 46, 49, 

Hopkins, Johns, 18, 20, 98. See also 

Johns Hopkins 
Hoshino, Ai, 192 
Houghteling, Leila, 247 
Huff, William B., 103, 220 
Hurst, Sandy, 227 
Hutton, Addison, 20, 30 

Infirmary, 95 

Japanese scholarships, 
Jay, Frances, 127 



Johns Hopkins, Hospital, 17, 27, 59; 
Medical School, 59 ff., 76, 89; Uni- 
versity, 17, 22, 24, 27, 29, 37, 40, 48, 
50, 69 

Johnson, Alvin C., 104 

Johnson, John G., 75, 77 ff. 

Jones, Rufus, 36!., 72, 82, 148, 205, 
242, 244 L; Chair of Philosophy and 
Religion, 249 

Junior Year Abroad, 169 

Kawai, Hanna, 200 

Kawai, Michi, 193 

Keisen College, 192 

Reiser, Edward, 46, 49, 220 

King, Francis Thompson, 16, 18, 20, 

23, 27 ff., 33, 44, 50, 59, 61 
King, Georgiana Goddard, 217 
King, Hortense Flexner. See Flexner, 


King, Samuel Arthur, 232 
Kingsbury, Susan, 91 
Kirk, Abby, 51 ff. 
Kirkbride, Elizabeth B., 79 
Kittredge, George Lyman, 233 
Kohler, Elmer, 49, 220 

Ladd, Anna Rhoads, 259 

Language examinations. See Orals 

Language houses, 138, i68f. 

Lantern, The, 186, 234 

Lantern Man, 2291*. 

Lantern Night, 225, 229! 

League, 250 

League for the Service of Christ, 245 ff. 

Lectures: Flexner, 145, 190; Shaw, 146; 

Sheble, 146 

Leipzig, University of, 65 
Library, M. Carey Thomas, 25, 76, 78, 

80 f., 209 

Linn, Bettina, 218 
Llanberis, 218 
Lodge, Gonzales, 73!, 104 
Lord, Margaret, 123 
Lowell, James Russell, 45 

MacCoy, Mrs. Logan, 192 
MacGregor, Geddes, 250 
Mackenzie, Arthur S., 220 
Maddison, Isabel, no, 140 
Magazines, student, 234 

Manning, Helen Taft, 72, 115, 169! 

Martin, Sydney E., 158 

May Day, 141, 225! 

McBride, Katharine Elizabeth, 87, 153, 

178, 180 ff., 205, 220, 256 
Meigs, Arthur, 142 
Merion Hall, 20 f., 25, 30, 42, 45 f., 58, 


Merit law, 72 f. 
Michels, Agnes Lake, 248 
Moore, Marianne, 234 
Morgan, Thomas Hunt, 49, 219 
Morris, Samuel, 26 
Morris, Mrs. Wistar, 192 
Mount Holyoke, 17, 20, 38, 105 
Music, Department of, 136, 138, 143, 


Neilson, William Allan, 104, 220 
Noether, Emmy, 191, 219 

Orals (language examinations), 73 ff., 

Osborne, Francis, 60 

Pallas Athene, Thea, 230 
Parde", Marcelle, 201 
Park, Marion Edwards, 51, 87, ngf., 
122 ff., 135, 156 f., 166, 170 f., 178, 


Park Hall, 159, 165, 258 
Patterson, Mary, 52 
Pembroke Hall, 25, 51, 60, 67, 76, 


Pennsylvania, University of, 100, 175 
Pen-y-Groes, 123 
Philadelphia Public Ledger, 102, 104 f., 


Pierce, Mary, 249 
Plan of Government, Faculty, 106, 108, 


Power plant, 76 

Psychiatric consultation, 201, 236 
Psychology, Department of, 86, 217 

Quakerism, 13 ff., 67, 72, 241 
Quakers. See Friends, Society of 

Radcliffe College. See Harvard Annex 
Radnor Hall, 25, 54, 58 f., 133 



Refugee scholars, 191 
Regional scholarships, 
Reilly, Marion, 79, 119, 123 
Religious life, 50, 238, 241 ff., 247 fL, 

25 if. 

Resources Committee, 257!. 
Retirement, 112, 114 
Rhoads, Charles J., 106, 158, 260 
Rhoads, James E., 25 ff., 34-63, 236, 241, 

*44> 259 

Rhoads Hall, 158, 209 
Rockefeller Hall, 25, 76 f., 81, 85, 209 
Rockefeller, John D., 76, 98 
Rockefeller, John D., Jr., 81 
Russell Sage Foundation, 114 
Russian, 218 

Sage, Margaret Olivia (Mrs. Russell), 


Sage, Russell, 113 
St. Lawrence, Patricia, 187 
Sargent, John Singer, 78, 95 
Sauppe, Hermann, library of, 75 
Schenck, Eunice Morgan, isSff., 138, 


Scholarships, 173 1; Japanese, 192 f. 
Scott, Charlotte Angus, 40, 45, 49, 

Scull, David, Jr., 25, 29 f., 33, 60, 75, 

80 f., 94, 260 

Seelye, Laurenus Clark, 20 
Self-government, 54 ff., 94, 106, 126, 

185!, 225, 254 ff. 

Seven Colleges, cooperation of, 173 
Seven-Year Plan, Alumnae, 151 
Shaw, Anna Howard, Memorial Fund, 


Sheble, Ann Elizabeth, Memorial Lec- 
tureship, 146 
Shorey, Paul, 45 f., 49, 219 
Skinner, Cornelia Otis, 233 
Skinner, Mrs. Otis, 233 
Slade, Caroline McCormick, 115, 202, 


Smiley, Albert K., 26 
Smith, Hannah Whitall, 34, 245 
Smith, Hilda Worthington, 118, 155, 


Smith College, 17, 20, 38, 105 
Smoking, 126! See also Self-govern- 

Smythe, Herbert Weir, 219 

Social Economy, Department of. See 

Woerishoffer, Carola, Department 
Sociology, Department of, 189, 217 
Stokes, Francis J., 219 
Stokes, Hetty, 45, 53! 
Stokowski, Leopold, 143! 
Students, 222, 235!, 261 f.; foreign, 

199!; in Government service, 183; 

health of, 236 f.; war activities of, 


Students' Building, 140, 142 
Sturzinger, J. J., 49 
Summer School for Women Workers 

in Industry, 92, ii6ff., 154 ff., 1701". 
Surrette, Thomas Whitney, 137 
Swarthmore College, 16, 176 
Swindler, Mary Hamilton, 219 

Taft, Helen. See Manning, Helen Taft 

Tatnall, Henry, 80 f. 

Taylor, Abraham, 8 ff., 13 

Taylor, Charles Shoemaker, 13, 21, 26 

Taylor, Hannah, 8, 10, 12! 

Taylor, Joseph Wright: life, 6-22; 
Quakerism, 7, 13, 19, 28, 32, 38, 61, 
68; will, 18, 23, 27 ff., 32, 38, 68 

Taylor, Lily Ross, 134, 200, 219 

Taylor Hall, 20, 25, 34, 42, 47, 58, 60, 


Thomas, Arthur H., 142 
Thomas, James Carey, 16, 18 ff., 24, 

27 ff., 31, 33, 44' 6 *, 6 9 7 2 75 
Thomas, Martha Carey, 19, 24, 29, 

31 ff., 48 f., 54 ff., 61 f., 66-120, 159 ff. 
Thomas, Mary Whitall, 24, 69, 72 
Thon, Frederick, 232 
Thorne, Samuel, 84 
Thome School, Phebe Anna, 84 ff., 153, 


Three-College Cooperation, 175 
Thurston, William, 22, 26 
Tinker, Chauncey B., 219 
Trustees, 18 f., 23 ff., 28, 48, 61 f., 67 ff., 

77, 79 ff., 84 f ., 97, 103 ff., 259 f . 
Tsuda, Ume, 192 
Tsuda College, 192 

Undergraduate Association, 56 
University of the Air, 257 


Vassar College, 17, 20, 8, 105 
Vining, Elizabeth Gray, 200 

Walker, Susan. See Fitzgerald, Susan 


Wellesley College, 17, 20, 38 
West House, 211 
Wheeler, Anna Pell, 191, 219 
Wheeler, Arthur Leslie, 103, 114 
Whitall, James, 24, 33, 75 
White, Thomas Raeburn, 104, 106 
Wilson, Edmund, 46, 49, 219, 230 
Wilson, Woodrow, 42, 45 f., 48 ., 216, 

Wing, Asa, 81 

Woerishoffer, Carola, Department, 90 ., 

189, 213, 217 

Woerishoffer, Emma Carola, 89 f., 225 
Woodward, Quita, Memorial, 1641!. 
World War I, 109 ff. 
World War II, 177, 180, i84f., 190, 


Wright School, 209 
Wyndham, 137! 

Yale University, 100 
Yarrow, 42 

Zurich, University of, 70 

1 34 226